ABOUT WOZOBANA CULTURAL HOUSE

Wozobona Cultural House is located at 976 Phiela street, Orlando East, Soweto. The business was inspired by women who come out the best in everything they do even with very little resources. For us, work ethics and respect is the order of the day. We also promote the Proudly South African concept.

Our goal is to bring you the life that was for many South Africans that lived in the townships during the time of Apartheid. The sad stories as well as the good that can be shared from their experiences. It is about the people that are so rarely mentioned but made up the masses in the countless demonstration marches in the townships.

The community always stood as one and ubuntu was alive and real. This website is dedicated to the memory of those times and honours all the heroes of that time. We come from those days and want to share the stories that most have never heard about or could imagine.

SOUTH WESTERN TOWNSHIPS HISTORY

South Western Townships or Soweto as it is known, was formed as a result of the eviction of Africans by Europeans from the city of Johannesburg. The Africans had been drawn to the city because of the need for labour on the Gold mines after 1886. From the start, they were accommodated in separate areas on the outskirts of Johannesburg. In 1904 British-controlled city authorities removed African and Indian residents of Brickfields to an “evacuation camp” at Klipspruit municipal sewage farm (not Kliptown, a separate township) outside the Johannesburg municipal boundary, following a reported outbreak of plague.

Two further townships were laid out to the east and the west of Johannesburg in 1918. Townships to the south west of Johannesburg followed, starting with Pimville in 1934 (a renamed part of Klipspruit) and Orlando in 1935. Apartheid was introduced as law after the 1948 elections that were won by the National Party and stayed in effect till 1994 when the African National Congress came into power. We deal with the period that Apartheid was in effect and highlight the life that was experienced by Africans in that period.

The crime of Apartheid is defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” The Europeans were the dominant group of the time and oppressed Africans (Coloureds and Indians to a lesser extent).

Life carried on in Soweto and other townships though. Children from the neighbourhood played an assortment of games from bathi, diketo and mgusha to name a few. The community was more together then with a oneness that is rare in this age. Streets were always meticulously clean and many townships had competitions to see who could keep the best garden. Churches and community halls were used to hold meetings (that started with prayer) to discuss the status quo and how to resolve issues that affected the community. When the police came, the meeting would suddenly become a full-blown church service.

It was a time of great sadness but also a time of joy that the African people used with the little that they had at their disposal. Families would gather for prayer, storytelling, singing and dancing, snakes and ladders (and other indoor games) and a time to reflect on the day’s events. There was always a feeling of belonging both within the families and within the community. We always knew who lived next door.

FULL TOUR

At a cost of only R100.00, you can book the complete tour which includes a township meal, a tour detailing the life during the struggle and wonderful true stories from that time. Have a look at the wonderful display, listen to the soothing and unique music of the time and much more. Approximately 2 hours..

MBAOLA TOUR

At a cost of only R 150.00, you can enjoy a quick township snack and a tour detailing the life during the struggle and true stories from that time under the township night. With the warm fire (mbaola) and praise songs by the youth in the area, join us for that unique township feel. Approximately 3 hours..

TOUR OPERATOR

With a host of tour operators that include us on their tour of Soweto, you are sure to enjoy a relaxing but most importantly, enlightening hour with us that includes a tour detailing our history as well as wonderful stories from yester years. Price R100 for a group of ten & more and R130 For a group of less than 10

CORPORATE EVENTS/GROUP BOOKINGS

You can have an exclusive tour with our skilled tour guides that will enlighten you on some aspects of life in the townships during the struggle days. Nearby bed and breakfast establishments can also accommodate large groups for that township experience. Contact us for a detailed quote.