Soweto Festival 2007
Over 43 000 people streamed through the gates of the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown to attend the Soweto Festival from 21 – 24 September 2007, over the Heritage weekend. The festival played host to over 250 exhibitors who all gained significant exposure in the Soweto market. The festival offerings were many and varied. Scholars who visited the Career Village learnt about how to go about getting a job and what skills were required. The Expo not only provided exciting shopping but gave the small businesses of Soweto a chance to sell their wares and talk to their consumers.
The Entertainment programme kept the youth enraptured and this year it to started later in the day. The fashion shows were magical and young Up and Coming designers presented their collections alongside professional and successful designers offering them the golden opportunity to learn and develop their craft. For the family there were eateries in the heart of the Festival, the Five Roses Tea Garden and the men were kept happy in the Shebeen while their wives shopped.
Comments Adele Lucas of Adele Lucas Promotions, organiser of the Festival, “this is the third year that the Festival has been staged and it gets bigger and better every year. Soweto is fast developing into a city in its own right and the Soweto Festival is fast becoming a hallmark event for the City of Joburg. I am particularly pleased the City of Johannesburg has given its wholehearted blessing to the Festival, as it aligns very closely to the City’s development goals and provides an annual showcase of Soweto to the world.”
The festival was officially opened by Cllr Amos Masondo, Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, followed by a glitzy VIP party. The Soweto Festival provided the perfect place for visitors to celebrate the Heritage Day public holiday weekend. The City of Johannesburg has now become the naming rights sponsor and together with the SABC, Daily Sun, Standard Bank, Vodacom and the University of Joburg they will ensure the growth and quality of this major event.
Numerous tourism organisations, including the Johannesburg Tourism Company, Cradle of Human Kind, Indian Tourism, the Zulu Kingdom and tourism offices from several African at the Festival. Other exhibitors displayed products ranging from Furniture, Health & Beauty, Crafts, Cars,Property, Finance, Business Services, to FMCG products, Hi-Tech appliances and cellular services.
Major exhibitors Standard Bank, University of Johannesburg, Black Like me, Golden Products and Media 24 all participated in the Soweto Festival, giving away many gifts and promotional items The numbers increased significantly and the number of visitors rose to 43 000 over the four-day period.
Ground breaking Soweto Festival Golf Classic
The inaugural Soweto Festival Golf Classic took place at the nearby Soweto Country Club on
Friday September 21st, with players from De Beers, Standard Bank, and IDC participating. The
Soweto Festival Golf Classic is taking Soweto golf to new heights with spirited corporate competitors lining the fairways, company banners marking the holes and well organised watering holes along the course for players.
Fabulous Entertainment brought the crowds streaming in…
A feast of musical entertainment was presented on the main stage. There was something for everybody from Kwaito to Gospel to Hip Hop. The entertainment was provided by SABC, Drum and City Vision and the musicians and dancers had the massive crowds screaming for more.
Education, a top priority
The Standard Bank Careers Village played an integral role in the Soweto Festival, attracting many young adults eager for information about employment, business, careers, education and training.
Standard Bank was the proud sponsor of the Seminar Room in which 17 inspirational and successful role models addressed the youth of Soweto. Each speaker told their personal story of how they worked their way from the bottom to the top. The Seminar Room was a true case of Standard Bank inspiring, motivating and involving. The University of Johannesburg rewarded one lucky listener with a bursary to the value of R20 000.
Small Soweto businesses gain invaluable exposure
The Soweto Festival also provided an invaluable platform for SMMEs to showcase their products and services to the booming consumer market of Soweto, as well as the growing number of corporate businesses aiming to broaden their supplier base to include black-owned businesses. Standard Bank generously sponsored 65 SMME exhibitors at the Soweto Festival. Other sponsors included the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller, the Gauteng Department of Social Development and Adele Lucas Promotions.
There are big plans for 2008. The Festival will grow once again and will include other venues and cultural concepts. The involvement of the City of Joburg will also lend weight to the event and this will be a build up for 2010 when the whole of Soweto will become a playground for the international visitors.