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A world-class art gallery in Langa: meet 16 on Lerotholi
From music and fine arts to theatre and photography, Langa township has produced many firsts and greats.
And now the oldest township in Cape Town boasts a world-class art gallery that seeks not only to showcase the works of local and great artists, but also to position Langa as an art destination.
The art gallery, 16 on Lerotholi, is nestled among small business ventures on a tiny street, but has attracted many visitors since it started in 2019.
Inside the building, the blue walls are adorned with pieces by well-known artists such as Langa’s own Mongezi Gum, Gugulethu-born Ricky Dyaloyi, Benjamin Furawo, Phillemon Hlungwani, Teresa Kutala-Firmino, Blessing Ngobeni, Speelman Mahlangu, Ignatius Mokone and Breeze Yoko.
Their artwork forms part of the “Abantu Bethu” (Our People) exhibition which celebrates the rich and diverse cultural heritage of African people.
Taking place in the year in which Langa celebrates 100 years, the exhibition, according to the co-founders, also serves as a platform to “reflect on the different phases of the township and its people, the pain and suffering” and is also a celebration of resilience and diversity.
“It’s about celebrating our own people. Townships were never designed to be spaces for people to prosper. We wanted to change that narrative,” said co-founder Mpilo Ngcukana.
Growing up surrounded and influenced by music, dance and visual arts, it seemed natural for the four co-founders of 16 on Lerotholi, Ngcukana, his brother Khanyo, Thulani Fesi, and Shaun Williams, to lean towards art.