SHABALALA’s Interpretation of Cultural Centre hosted a successful and highly welcomed township expo to assist local tourism product owners to revive their businesses as COVID rules and regulations had been downgraded.
According to the organiser of the event, Goodman Nkosi, tourism was still trying to recover from the pandemic and some businesses had closed down leaving people jobless. “So we decided to remind local people that we still have our own products and they need us to support them and spread the message to those who are not aware of them. So this expo was to let them showcase what we have in our township which had created jobs for locals even though they are still struggling,” Nkosi explained.
He added that the products owners showcased were 100% local with offerings of food, entertainment, accommodation, arts and crafts and traditional attire. Even local farmers were not left out and were invited to sell their products.
“We in the rural areas have many products but our challenge is that we are not known so we need events like this to keep reminding people what a township can offer. These would continue even after tourism month because people do tour and use any tourism products day to day,” he said
One of the product owners, Mbombela Experience, based in Lekazi, welcomed the expo. “This expo was useful since international flights were grounded and we had to encourage locals to visit their tourism establishments because most of them are situated where they live. The good thing about this expo is that it happened at the right time during the heritage and tourism month,” he told NewsHorn.
Nontobeko Maphosa, a fashion and traditional designer also welcomed the expo as the adjusted COVID rules and regulations now make it possible to once again host wedding and parties. “This kind of expo are always useful because it expose our products to the public, especially to local people because they are the one who are getting married and host parties so we need them to use us at all times,” Maphosa explained.