Langa, the oldest township in the Western Cape, is celebrating it’s centenary in style. This weekend, the proud musical history is honoured with a free Music and Street Festival, focussing on Jazz.
Langa is situated nearly 10 kilometres from the Cape Town CBD. Steeped in history, including being a catalyst in the fight against apartheid, Langa is also home to artists and entrepreneurs.
The city of Cape Town, says while townships were born out of pain and as a tool of exclusion, Langa has evolved and developed into rich and vibrant community.
Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis says the next two years of celebrations are in honour of the transition of the township into rich, wonderful, culturally vibrant and fully fledged community.
“So when this Town was set up 100 years ago remember it was far outside Cape Town. Cape Town was a tiny little village around the CBD and now of course it’s the closest place, probably the closest township to Cape Town. It’s now in the city basically. And it has really got a wonderful, vibrant cultural life. There are artists, not just musical artists, but visual artists here, there is incredible sporting here, there is wonderful people that come from here and a very strong community. So it is absolutely worth celebrating how we’ve transitioned from being that place of being born in pain and exclusion to a fully-fledged community.
Langa celebrates its centenary:
Captivating displays of exhibitions, bead works, plastics-made handbags and performances were held to showcase the beauty and talents of Langa.
“It’s very peaceful. It’s better than Khayelitsha and other places there are a lot to we don’t have what they have here,” says Patricia Sweetman an entrepreneur.
Ward Councillor and member of the organising committee, Lwazi Pakadi says Langa is rich in heritage and celebrating it means appreciating what Langa has contributed in the cultural aspects of the country.
“It means so much to the community because it means they are recognised for their efforts that they do in contributing in the cultural aspect of this country and social cohesion as well. Because its an opportunity for people to come together to enjoy themselves within their communities and within what they call home to them.”
This weekend, it’s about good music, celebrations and honouring a place and people that have made immense contributions to the rich tapestry of Cape Town and South Africa.
Reporting by Lerato Dlalisa