Tony Elvin

Tony Elvin

AirBnB is now in Cape Town township! Co-founder flies in to check it out

AirBnB co-founder Brian Chesky flies into Cape Town to see how Cape Town's Langa township is adopting AirBnB to uplift women and create more business opportunities.

Meet Linda Pona. She's hosting international guests weekly in her quaint home in Langa township. Traditional foods, apartheid stories and walking tours are all on offer.

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Airbnb’s African takeover: One-on-One with founder Brian Chesky

Brian Chesky’s story is the kind that start-up kids murmur to themselves at night in their parents’ basement, praying for a big break. Fresh out of college, Chesky and his roommate Joe Gebbia – both struggling industrial designers – couldn’t afford their rent one month in 2007. Because a big conference was taking place in San Francisco at the time, all hotel rooms were booked solid.

Spotting a cheeky chance to make some cash, Chesky and Gebbia bought three air mattresses and advertised their apartment as up for rent. “Airbed and breakfast” was born, complete with breakfast consisting of untoasted Pop Tarts. Ten years later, Airbnb is worth around $30-billion, making it the most valuable hospitality company in the world. The likes of Hilton Hotels, InterContinental and Marriott trail behind. read more 

Empowering Women in Social Enterprise: Airbnb, iKhaya le Langa Partner to Help Entrepreneurs Thrive

Today,  nine women entrepreneurs from Langa Township in Cape Town graduated from a program that will  help them boost their community by providing sustainable accommodation options to global travelers.
The graduates are the first class of hosts from iKhaya le Langa, a non-profit aimed at revitalizing the area through social enterprise and tourism. The organization has partnered with Airbnb to serve as a platform for these women to manage their businesses.
The nine women are all based in the Langa Quarter, an area of 13 streets with about 500 homes. .. read more

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 |