Situated on the Cape Flats part of the Western Cape, Khayelitsha is the 2nd biggest black township on South Africa (following Soweto). This is a 30 kilometer hop coming from Cape Town city centre; but yet, life in Khayelitsha is extremely different to lifestyle in the prosperous center of the Mother City, in which stylish colonial structures rub shoulders along with world-class restaurants as well as galleries.
The township, in whose name implies “new home” in Xhosa, is among the poorest communities on the Cape Town area. But still, in spite of its challenges, Khayelitsha has gained itself a status as being a hotbed of culture and entrepreneurship. Khayelitsha is full of fascinating and innovative new firms and things to do for locals and visitors to have fun with.
Khayelitsha hosts a large number of movers and shakers, along with business owners, local businesses, artists, NGOs, restaurants and lots of other projects found along the vast township. A few highlights to experience here are the following:
Department of Coffee (DoC)
Department of Coffee (DoC) is situated beside the Khayelitsha Train Station. Opened by Wongama, Vusumzi and Vuyile in July 2012 in order to take coffee culture into the township, this coffee shop has rapidly acquired a cult-like following. It gives you signature blends which range from flat whites to lattes, cappuccino and various other mouth watering brews. They also offer delivery around the township vicinity. In case you’re looking for a pick-me-up, it’s a great area to enjoy a few truly delicious java.
18 Gangster Museum
The 18 Gangster Museum began as being a pop-up art gallery for the Together Against Crime Festival happening in the Artscape at the end of 2016. Presently, it is now a permanent museum. The museum features prison cell replications that demonstrate the realities of life within jail. Also, it has 2 portions – a portion which displays the more dark side of gangsterism (the poor decisions made in life) and then the lighter portion of life (the good decisions which could be done to get away a life of crime). Wandisile Nqeketho along with his partners have established a museum which is curated and led by ex-offenders, providing a significant way of giving back to community while also assisting to fight gangsterism in the neighborhood.
Khayelitsha Craft Market
This particular market is really a must-visit. It is situated in the St Michael’s church and operates Monday to Saturday. Watch out for a large variety of local products, which range from ceramics to beadwork, baskets, paintings, shopping bags, curios, scrap metal art, wire art and a lot more. All of the products are manufactured locally by skilled artists. Helping community art is a fantastic means of giving back. As an additional reward, you’ll also find incredible items for the home which make wonderful gifts too. Also , there are drink and food stalls offering traditional food.
Khayelitsha Canoe Club
The Khayelitsha Canoe Club is the very first of its type on the township. The club started in 2013 with only 2 canoes and has evolved quickly since that time. The club does help to train the young people in the township with regards to paddling. It is now greatly well-known among children, having a number of pursuits like the canoe polo which even more contributing to its popularity. Boat rides also are provided to visitors who would like to be a part of the fun.
The best way to have a complete experience of Cape Town townships like Khayelitsha would be to try a Township Tour. The tour consists of morning and afternoon trips, that bring you to Khayelitsha and also Langa and District Six. Tours usually take around 4 and a half hours, and may include trips to community shebeens, charismatic churches, restaurants, schools as well as local art galleries. You’ll come away having a much better knowledge of the townships, with stories to last forever.