When the market was introduced in 2014, the aim was for it to compete with the likes of Johannesburg and Cape Town’s Neighbourgoods Markets. It has developed into so much more – a space for trailblazing entrepreneurs and innovators in the arts, culture and lifestyle space to showcase their creations and offerings. What’s more, the market now offers Locrate Tours.
“I wanted to show that, in terms of entrepreneurship, Soweto is about more than just shebeen queens and tuckshop owners. We have always had chefs, designers, craftsmen, artists and others who didn’t have platforms from which to share their ideas,” says Kgosi Rampa, founder of Locrate, the name formed from the words “local” and “creative”.
Locrate has around 40 stalls every month, and Rampa notes that the exhibitors are a community and a movement.
“We build brands with the various stall owners. Not only do they get a stall, but we also assist them with marketing and exposure in all other activities we take part in. For example, we have involved some stall owners in the annual Easter Extravaganza, the Rand Show and the DStv Delicious Festival.
“We operate for a specific purpose – to uplift the Soweto community. We had a Locrate Market that was themed around reading. As things stand, Soweto does not have a single bookstore since the Exclusive Books at Maponya Mall was closed down, and we are trying to change the perception that Sowetans don’t read,” says Rampa.
He has been so successful in building a platform for creatives to bloom, that he branched into other lifestyle sectors, such as the annual three-day Makhelwane Festival. Held in December, it’s a wonderful community-based event, with the houses and gardens on Poka Street, Soweto, being transformed into pop-up eateries, fashion boutiques, art galleries, cultural exhibition stalls and craft beer outlets. Cooking classes, cycling tours, picnics, live music performances and camping, among other activities, are also available.
You’ll find the Locrate Market on the corner of Kudu and Moema Streets, Orlando West, Soweto, on the first Sunday of every month. It’s open from 10am until late. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more on Facebook: The Locrate Market.