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Template:Infobox music venue Mzoli's (also known as Mzoli's Place, Mzoli's Meat, or Mzoli's Butchery) is a butchery, restaurant, and nightclub in Gugulethu, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa.[1] Since Mzoli's opened in early 2003, the restaurant has become a popular gathering spot for Cape Town residents and a tourist attraction.[2] However, amongst Gugulethu's residents, Mzoli's Place has a reputation for public drunkenness and disrespect for the local community.[3][4] Mzoli's is named after the founder and owner, Mzoli Ngcawuzele.[5][6]

History

The establishment opened in early 2003.[7] Owner Mzoli Ngcawuzele obtained start-up funding from the Development Bank of South Africa, which supports black-owned businesses.[8] In October 2006, an economic study said that Mzoli had "moved, from selling meat informally from a garage, to owning one of the most popular hangouts in Cape Town".[9]

In November 2006, more than 30 restaurant patrons, including a group of tourists and Democratic Alliance councillor Masizole Mnqasela, were arrested in a police raid for public drinking. The restaurant did not sell liquor, but Ngcawuzele explained that he could not stop people from bringing their own alcohol.[10][3] The incident generated controversy in the local press. Tour operator Ryan Hunt claimed that police swore at the patrons and threatened people for asking questions. "The police created a dangerous situation. People are always encouraged to visit township attractions, but now they are turned away with that kind of situation," he said.[11] Mnqasela, a member of Cape Town's economic development committee, added, "Mzoli's is internationally acclaimed and is key to township tourism. What kind of message are the police sending?"[10] The African National Congress approved the police actions, citing a need to curtail public drunkenness.[3]

Business

Located in the township of Gugulethu, a black neighbourhood 15 kilometres southeast of the centre of Cape Town, Mzoli's is a "do-it-yourself" market and eatery, selling meat to patrons who in turn hire independent entrepreneurs running braai stalls on the grounds to grill the meat and prepare meals.[2] Mzoli's also provides live entertainment and has become noted as a venue for deep house and kwaito music.[8][12]

As well as local people, Mzoli's attracts television stars, DJs such as DJ Fresh, politicians such as Tony Yengeni, businesspeople, tourists, and college students.[13][8] Mzoli's is considered to be a "base camp" where "black diamonds" (a local term for an upwardly mobile class of township-based blacks who are at home in the corporate world) gather and network.[8][14] In September 2006, Sasha Planting of Financial Mail called it "the destination for everyone".[13]

Tourism

Mzoli's is a key part of tourism in the area. An example of a tourist-centred activity is the Mzoli's Shebeen Experience, in which tourists are brought to the township from their hotels in Cape Town. In this context, a shebeen is a local bar that sells food. As part of the tour, Mzoli speaks about township life and how Gugulethu has revived since the 1990s. The lunch provided includes local meats and food such as Karoo lamb, boerewors, potjie, umngqusho (samp and beans), mielie pap and mielies. Guests can drink beer and local Cape wine, and Cape jazz and marimba players supply entertainment.

Criticism

While Mzoli's Place has a good reputation outside Gugulethu, some local residents claim unfairness in the owner's business practices.[15][16] Protesters have recently converged on Mzoli's Place charging that Ngcauwezele intimidates rather than consults with area residents. In response to threats that his property may get vandalised, Ngcauwezele has called some protesters "criminal thugs." [17] Protesters have hit back, saying that if they were criminals they would be rich like Ngcauwezele.[18]

References

  1. ^ {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  2. ^ a b {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  3. ^ a b c Zara Nicholson and Murray Williams. "Tourists and DA councillor held in Gugs drinking raid". Cape Argus. 2006-11-20. p. 1
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  8. ^ a b c d {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  9. ^ {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  10. ^ a b Vusi Nzapheza. "Patrons harassed". Cape Times. 2006-11-21. p. 3.
  11. ^ Zara Nicholson. "Swearing cops 'disgust' arrested tour operator". Cape Argus. 2006-11-22. p.5.
  12. ^ Nicole Alper. "Captivating Capetown, South Africa". Essence. February 2007. p. 216.
  13. ^ a b Sasha Planting. "A taste of ekasi. Mzoli's Butchery". Financial Mail. 2006-09-15. p. 20.
  14. ^ Dominique Herman. "Black diamonds juggle urban, township worlds", Cape Times, 2006-09-18. Retrieved on 2007-09-17. 
  15. ^ {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  16. ^ Template:Citenews
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  18. ^ {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}

External links