The site by the founder of Guga S’thebe, Nomthunzi Jacobs.
The purpose of the site is to capture the character of this community from its origin throughout its
existence. To tell the tales of a people that turned the wheel of poverty, deprivation, social exclusion
economic exclusion at the hand of legalised system, the Apartheid. These stories are told for the
reasons of teaching, navigating the future with wisdom of hindsight extracted from the legacy of a
people that walked and worked this soil.
Guga S’thebe was conceptualised pre1994 by Nomthunzi Jacobs, who spent years seeking buy-in through
community consultation, potential stakeholders and sought funding which culminated in the
creative architectural design built in 1999. This was named Guga Sithebe Arts, Culture and Heritage
Langa Township has a Historical, Cultural and Socio-political significance as this as the first Black Township in the Western Cape.
Guga S’thebe purpose is to house the history of Langa as the first township in the Western Cape. To
keep the footprint of a people that grew and developed this community and to track breakthroughs
and register the legacy left.
It is important to remember that the odds were against these black people who were thrown to the
far out end of the city, near power station and sewer treatment plant of the city. Langa was created
and designed as a migrant labour hostel. Over the years it has produced world reknown artist,
professionals and politicians. It is therefore important to capture its stories told through art, craft,
creative design and culture.
To promote tourism in the area and to break stereotypes created by apartheid the founder went on
to design the first walking tour throughout the Langa township. This required her to create a training
focused on educating the community of the possibility of tourism and potential business
opportunities. To date, Langa hosted a listless number of local people, student, tourist from all
corners of the world.
The impact of Guga S’thebe’s mission to capture the history and culture of Langa has been significant. The founder’s efforts to promote tourism in the area have not only broken stereotypes created by apartheid, but have also empowered members of the community to start their own businesses. For example, taxi drivers have become tour operators, school leavers have become tour guides, and new businesses such as restaurants and short-term accommodations have been established. Thanks to these efforts, countless local people, students, and tourists from around the world have been able to experience the rich culture and history of Langa firsthand.