Soweto Festival Expo back with a bang
Johannesburg - The Soweto Festival Expo is hosting its 37th edition with a jam-packed line-up of events.
“It was started in 1983 and used to be called the Soweto Homemaking Festival. It has moved from different venues, including UJ Campus and Nasrec. The main focus was to help develop Soweto through an event,” said Expo executive director Zama Qampi.
The last big festival event took place in 2014 as the previous organisers could not get the funding and changed to smaller events.
“It was handed over to the Sowetans, which I am part of, and since 2016 we have made sure the festival takes place in Soweto. All activities have been taking place in different parts of Soweto. We’ve grown the festival from just a music and exhibition showcase to having 10 different categories,” he said.
From November 22-25, the Soweto International Film Festival (SIFF) will take place at Maponya Mall.
“Everything from Hollywood to Nollywood and Bollywood and veterans will be gathering at Maponya Mall. People who want to know about the film industry should be there. We will be training and assisting them with masterclasses and hosting Africa Day, Soweto Day and we are launching 16 Days of Activism against Women and Children Abuse,” Qampi said.
A documentary called Choose Life will be launched on November 25. In it, men from various backgrounds will be talking about the effects of gender-based violence.
The festival kicks off on Saturday at popular venue Sakhumzi Restaurant and runs until December 5.
Other events and activities to look out for include the Soweto Food and Bev Festival at Maponya Mall, Golf Challenge, Soweto Awards and the main event, Family Day which will be hosted at Nasrec Expo Centre.
Another event for music and sports lovers, The Battle of the Giants, will take place at Jabavu Stadium.
“The same people who are going to be performing will also be playing in a soccer challenge. All our activities will not have more than 450 people. Most of the tickets will be sold virtually.”
The Soweto 7 Colours Festival will also be taking place during the Expo.
“It will be taking place at the theatre. Everything from arts and crafts to food and wine – there will be something for everyone.
“The Soweto Festival Expo prides itself as the principal event in Soweto that connects businesses, SMMEs, youth, community organisations, consumers and the Soweto Community at large. It is also an annual platform to celebrate Soweto’s richness, culture and diversity,” said Qampi.
Tickets to the expo cost between R50 and R200.