4. 16 on Lerotholi

16 on Lerotholi is a unique art gallery in the heart of Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township. Situated on a historic street, a few dozen metres away from the township’s iconic Pass museum, the building is newly renovated and inviting. Inside, the walls are pinned with beautiful paintings and artwork. The gallery and the art on display seem to encapsulate the spirit of Langa: Forward-looking, vibrant and energetic, but also a reflection of the realities of South Africa’s painful history and daily realities. The gallery is the brainchild of 3 young passionate South Africans: Mpilo Ngcukana, Thulani Fesi, and Sean Williams.

Having observed that there is a pent-up hunger and appreciation of the arts in the township, and also an unmet need for many emerging South African artists to showcase their creations, they decided to open 16 on Lerotholi, in order to make art more accessible to the township, and give people more opportunities to interact with the artwork. Lerotholi’s founders have the ambition to be a “world-class, socially embedded gallery that contributes to African economic prominence and transformation”, and grow the gallery into something that will eventually resonate far beyond Langa and Cape Town, and bring opportunities to artists across the continent.

16 on Lerotholi is grateful for the support they got from a previous LSE cohort who, in 2020, the midst of COVID, managed to really have an impact on the gallery setting up the bases of a partnership with a very renowned international gallery.

The small social-enterprise is now looking into developping a restaurant and promoting healthier lifestyle within the community of Langa. This is a brand new territory for 16 on Lerotholi.