Buyel ‘Embo – Return to your roots! Buyel’ Embo Village opens our eyes to the beauty of our African roots through live music, local African arts, crafts, entertainment and cuisines. Buyel’ Embo Village truly redefines the term ‘tavern’ and proves that there is so much more to a ‘tavern’ than people think! 

Situated in the heart of Mandela Park, Khayelitsha, Buyel’ Embo Village is a place where our African roots are reawakened. A place which seeks to remind us of our true origins and traditions, while allowing us to celebrate ‘Ubuntu bethu’ through music from top local DJs, live bands and other cultural events. However, Buyel’ Embo is more than just a cultural village; it’s also a huge tourist attraction, drawing many visitors locally and abroad every year. 

Gearhouse Group has recently partnered with Moses Gxothiwe, owner of Buyel’ Embo Village, who comments about his journey in establishing one of Khayelitsha’s top entertainment spots. This cultural and entertainment hub has been around since 2013 and in spite of its young age, it has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, hosting many lavish and impressive events such as the #TurnUpMassacre on the 1st of May 2016, which hosted Cassper Nyovest, the “Mama I made it” hit-maker.

Buyel’ Embo also made huge headlines by hosting the biggest music event in the Cape Town entertainment industry, Viceroy Makoya Mix National Finals which took place in November last year with incredible soul-shaking music from Monique Bingham, Rocco (Internationals Artista), Lulo Cafe, Naked DJ, DJ Tira, and MTV Klipdrift with Micasa and Mobi Dixon, DJ Loyd, Sir Vincent, Mshayi, Fabo SA and many more.

Buyel’ Embo began just as a piece of open land which would ultimately give birth to the cultural haven. Moses says, “I received a piece of land from a guy in the UK through my Pastor Xola Skosana from Way of Life Church, and left the open land for over 4 years before starting to build around June 2013 and formally launched the business on 16th December 2013.” Buyel’ Embo is not just a music and cultural venue, but also boasts catering services, venue hire, a car wash and even a beauty and massage parlour!

Gxothiwe is no newbie in the entertainment or tourism industry, as he has extensive experience in running a business. In 2006 he established a company by the name of GX Cruize Shuttle Services, which would do township tours from District Six via Langa, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and Nomzamo in Strand. But he left the business since it became very demanding time-wise.

One interesting fact is that he has a lot of experience working within the police service, which has its advantages when running such an establishment. “I have learnt to work with people and communities through my experience as a police officer, as a result I don’t take people for granted, and in fact I’ve been working for both SAPS and Metro Police Department in Khayelitsha for almost 10 years. The aspect of community police is the best way of dealing with issues such as drug related crimes and crime in general, and having the means to prevent such activities in and around your business.

Buyel’ Embo has certainly gone from strength to strength and has regular A-list artists gracing its stage. Moses attributes this to what Buyel’ Embo offers the people; everyone wants to go to an entertainment venue which provides good quality live entertainment, great food and drinks and reliable and safe security. “Buyel’ Embo was meant to be more than just live music performances but because of the current trends in South African music, the DJ’ing took the scene and we had to stay relevant and balance between the artists and disc jockeys.”

“Remember the village is situated inside the heart of Khayelitsha, Mandela Park, where no one would’ve believed that we could have a magnificent space such as Buyel’ Embo, and we needed a marketing drive that would encourage people from all walks of life and from different parts of Cape Town to visit our establishment and that we needed to bring a difference in people’s lives. We had to get more appealing and wanted artists to bring a good vibe, good entertainment and good life amongst not only supporters but the community too.”

Gxothiwe says he has many high-lights of running his business, “One of the many highlights of owning Buyel’ Embo Village was hosting President Jacob Zuma on the 8th of January 2015 along with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on the 14th of April 2015.” Running a successful business is not without its challenges and requires a lot of patience and will power, “There is a lack of government support especially by the local municipality and has loads of red tape instead of having a local administration which seeks to encourage the spirit of business not only on paper but in a true sense.”

There’s no stopping Buyel’ Embo as it continues to reach new heights in the business world; it has secured a huge deal which will open even bigger doors. “We have clinched a huge deal with the Gearhouse Group and we will revamp the village and bring a huge stage and sound infra­structure, this won’t only benefit us as the owners but the community of Mandela Park itself, thus lifting up Khayelitsha’s economic infrastructure.”

Every event at Buyel’ Embo seeks to impress the masses and outdo the previous one, and these upcoming events will do just that…

  • #TakeOver - 30th July.
  • Buyel’ Embo Mini Arts Festival - 24th September on Heritage Day, celebrating the essence of one’s heritage, it will also have a mobile museum, arts and culture and live music performances.
  • Moses Gxothiwe’s birthday celebrations - 5th of November 2016.
  • Buyel’ Embo Arts Festival - 16th December on Reconciliation Day, at Khayelitsha Cricket Oval with live performances, national and local artists, craft markets etc.
  • New Years Eve Party - 31st December 2016.

Buyel’ Embo represents the many aspects of what make us proudly South African, by unashamedly sticking to its traditions and staying true to its African roots while remaining relevant with a contem­porary edge. The result is a hugely popular, unique, fun and cultural centre, proving that the term ‘tavern’ can encompass so much more.

Check out Buyel’ Embo Villages’ Facebook page or Website or go see it for yourself at 8 Alfred Nzo Street, Mandela Park, Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Story reprinted courtesy The Tavern Times, Photo Credit #TurnUpMassacre – Photo By Jay Photography

May 26, 2016

The Gearhouse Group of Companies