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The City of Johannesburg, the Kliptown Open Air Museum and Soweto Hotel collaborated under the arts umbrella to host a youth creativity and cultural expression event at Kliptown Square on Saturday, 23 October 2021.

Kliptown is one of the oldest townships in Johannesburg. It was proclaimed in 1904 without electricity and ablutions. This township suffers from a high level of unemployment and inadequate recreational activities for its population.

The youth event afforded non-governmental organisations, dance groups, designers, crafters percussionists, visual artists from the immediate community of Kliptown and surrounding areas to showcase their artworks and talent.

Chazzan Denzel, one of performers from Kliptown, said: “It was awesome to see people in my neighbourhood be given a platform to perform. I am happy I was also afforded the opportunity to showcase and get some exposure of my work.” 

Arts, Culture and Heritage Education Officer in the City of Johannesburg Boco Mzingaye said efforts are being made to work with various stakeholders to deliver arts programmes. “We organise this event for artists to engage in these activities, to enhance the quality of life, foster social gathering, and entertain the people of Kliptown.”

Gay Taylor from Regent Entertainment in Kliptown said: “We gained experience and it was a successful event and we were treated well. It will be huge thing to do this event annually. We can bring known artist and TV presenters who can expose artists to a wider audience.”

Appreciating and confirming the City of Johannesburg’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for art development, Arts, Culture and Heritage Deputy Director Vincent Maumela said: “A lot of sweat went into putting the final product out there. The talent was amazing. Seeing young people produce what the market appreciates and forging new directions in the creative industry was exciting.”

Kliptown resident Emidine Wellington said the event was exceptional and afforded many people from the community to expose their talent. “There was this group that is always seen on the street corner smoking. The way they performed excited me. They looked professional and even the way they dressed, I was impressed. They looked like they were managed by a huge company.”

Kliptown suffers from a high level of unemployment and inadequate recreational activities. Though the status of Kliptown seems to deteriorate, it is among the places declared as freehold area, where Africans could buy land. It is also where the Congress of the People adopted the Freedom Charter in 1955. It requires massive capital injection to create jobs.