Langa’s centenary celebrations united story tellers, artists and dancers in community joy—a reminder of the beating heart the township drums, that’s worth fighting to uplift!
Langa, South Africa (08 November 2023) — It’s been a year filled with artistic pride and important walks down a very long memory lane for Cape Town’s Langa township, with more celebrations transpiring over the weekend. Langa’s centenary festivities across the year have been as much about uniting its community as they have been about recognising the beating heart of hope that still drums from its people, and the most recent celebrations were no exception.
Starting last Friday, Guga S’thebe Centre came alive with a market, artistic displays and workshops where traders, creatives and community members could enjoy each others presence and talents.
One exhibition that took place at Langa’s Old Post Office saw personal stories unfold that in the future, will become immortalised in the Langa 100 book.
Dancers displayed their very best moves at the Gugu S’thebe Amphitheatre where amateurs competed for crowds, and arts and crafts workshops saw young and mature creators connect through mosaic, painting, pottery and drumming.
But, Langa’s centenary celebrations are an indicator of more than City-led events that went well.
Instead, they show the larger public and those outside of the township that there is a lot worth fighting for in this community, and events to uplift and inspire people there should not only come about when there is a 100 year anniversary afoot.
In earlier celebrations this year, musician Xolani Maphila said it best when he shared that the negative perceptions about townships are real, but the positives are there and they are mostly led by the people doing it for themselves.
Langa’s centenary is a striking example of the side to townships that doesn’t always make headlines, and what a South Africa it would be if enough was done to make experiences worth celebrating the norm and not the exception.