Ikhaya le langa | Tony Elvin

Tony Elvin 
 
 

Making South Africa's Langa Quarter Cleaner, Safer, and Ready for Business | BK Live

Published on 27 May 2016

Tony Elvin is traveling around the world spreading the gospel of social development entrepreneurship. He's helping the Langa Quarter in South Africa, the first planned township in South Africa (AKA the oldest black quarter in the whitest area of Africa) become cleaner, greener, and safer to develop businesses

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Sexy plans for Cape Town’s oldest township

 / 
06 May 2016 at 07:41am


Cape Town - When Cape Town scooped the best city in the world award in the UK Telegraph Travel Awards last month, more traditional reasons for the thumbs up included the wine, the pristine beaches, the Big 5 and how many rands could be bought with a pound sterling. 

But also on the list was the Langa Quarter, with the Telegraph writing that the area had become “one of the city’s most exciting districts, which is a testament to the creative and entrepreneurial talent of its residents”. “As well as jovial locals, the Langa Quarter abounds with colourful street art, late-night jazz bars and cosy cafés,” it said. The driving force behind the initiative is former Londoner Tony Elvin, who says he has big, bold and sexy plans for Cape Town’s oldest township. 

Elvin, who worked with Jamie Oliver at the London restaurant, Fifteen, and later set up a scholarship whereby chefs from South Africa were brought over to be trained there, first visited Cape Town in 2004. “I was only here for two weeks, but felt quite emotional leaving.” 

He moved to Cape Town a few years later and lived in upmarket Ruyteplaats in Hout Bay, where friends warned him not to go into the townships and never to make eye contact with those standing at the traffic lights. He set up a consulting business from “a beautiful office” in Heritage Square, but it was meeting two entrepreneurs from Langa that ignited his passion for the area where he now lives. “Langa was the most exciting place.

The people, the location, the history, the culture, the jazz – all of it.” Not that there weren’t challenges. He recalls how strange he found what he called “human safaris”, where “big coaches would drive through and tourists would take photographs out the window”. Elvin set up a non-profit organisation, Ikhaya le Langa, in an old disused primary school, which he is turning in a centre for enterprise and social development. The lead project is the Langa Quarter and the idea is to make the area “clean, green and safe” to attract investment and create employment opportunities for locals.

Read more / Original Post /by Helen Bamford, Cape Argus

22 reasons why Cape Town is the world’s best city

 5. It’s home to the Langa Quarter

Once described as an “apartheid dumping ground”, this 13-street township has become one of the city’s most exciting districts, which is a testament to the creative and entrepreneurial talent of its residents. As well as jovial locals, the Langa Quarter abounds with colourful street art, late-night jazz bars and cosy cafes. 

Original Link  | CREDIT: ALAMY | www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/

 

IINDAWO

i i n d a w o

Center for African Creative Excellence

Our Purpose:

iKhaya le Langa’s art, craft and retail space is named ‘iindawo’ which in isiXhosa means ‘spaces.’ It is a home to many black creatives that, until now, had to leave the townships in pursuit of ‘credible’ spaces to sell their higher quality design products. Our aim is for iindawo to become a center of African creative and design excellence.

We have structure this curated retail space for contributors, chosen from across the fashion, arts and design disciplines, to display their work on a three-month basis. The ‘iindawo’ concept is flexible and will, at times, extend to our exhibition spaces, café walls, playground and courtyard areas.

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