Heritage Month in Johannesburg

20 Sep 2018
created 11 Sep 2017
On September 24 South Africa celebrates the country's rich and diverse cultural heritage with the annual Heritage Day public holiday. It's a day that has its origins in the post-1994 flush of the Rainbow Nation that sought to create unity in diversity. Today it means different things to different South Africans – from dressing in traditional finery to firing up a braai (Heritage Day is also unofficially known as National Braai Day, a more commercial than symbolic move). The day is actually celebrated over the month of September with plenty of special exhibitions, festivals and theatre productions taking place. Here's our round-up of the best.

Food and Festivals

Sat Sep 22 & Sun Sep 23
Two days of music performances by major international acts, celebrity chef demonstrations and a gourmet food and wine market. This year's headliners include American singer-songwriter Erykah Badu (performing on Sunday only), German jazz fusion collective Jazzanova Live, UK Soul group D-Influence, South African songstresses Lira and Simphiwe Dana and Australian neo-soul prodigy Jordan Rakei (performing on Saturday only). Tickets from R550, Weekend Pass R1000. Find out more here.

Mon Sep 24
Taking place under the theme “Naturalistas come together in celebration of their hair-itage” the Johannesburg Natural Hair Expo returns for its second year by popular demand, taking over Constitution Hill this Heritage Day. Aimed at empowering women through embracing their natural hair, the expo brings together established and emerging natural hair care brands from across the continent, with a specialised kids corner for kids’ hair care products. In the spirit of Heritage Day, visitors are encouraged to come dressed in their traditional finery and there are exhibitions, music and poetry performances throughout the day. In honour of Heritage Day entrance to all Constitution Hill museums is free.
Tickets R120. Find out more here.

Mon Sep 24

The famous Imbizo Shisa Nyama (aka Busy Corner) in Midrand hosts its annual Heritage Day party this Monday September 24 from 11:00. Dress to the nines in your finest traditional attire and enjoy live music from local performers and a traditional African extravaganza to remember. Find out more here.

Sat Sep 29
A local favourite at the 1 Fox Market Shed, The Gauteng Opera company return to the 1 Fox Precinct again for a special Heritage Month performance on Sat Sep 29. Book for Just Teddy's fabulous High Tea and catch the opera singers performing from 13:00. To book for the high tea email The High Tea costs R150 per person, the Gauteng Opera performance is free. Find out more here.

Sun Sep 30
The last Sunday of the month is Seven Colour Sundays at the Soweto Theatre. Feast on traditional homemade South African dishes cooked up by some of Soweto's best food vendors while enjoying smooth lounge, deep house and jazzy sounds courtesy of local DJsEntrance R20, cooler box fee R60. Find out more here.

Theatre and Dance

Until Tue Oct 9
Celebrating South Africa’s multi-cultural heritage, Our Stories Our Africa ushers in South Africa’s Heritage Month with a collection of African children’s fables at the People's Theatre. Learn about which animals are the wisest and meet beings who can change into wild animals on a magical journey in this interactive production. A fun way for kids to learn about African mythology, Our Stories Our Africa offers something for the entire family with hilarious antics and lovable characters. Tickets R142. Find out more here. 

Sat Sep 15-Sun Sep 16 & Thu Sep 20-Sat Sep 22
The leading contemporary dance company Moving Into Dance Mophatong celebrates their 40th anniversary at UJ Art Centre with a season of performances; Equinox 1 and Equinox 2. Equinox 1 (showing Sep 15 and 16) is a double bill which includes the Johannesburg premiere of The Women Who Fell From The Moon and a return to the stage of Moving Into Dance Mophatong’s 1997 Passage of Rights with music by renowned jazz musician Steve Dyer. Equinox 2 closes out the anniversary season with a bang on Sep 20, 21 and 22 with performances of We Are Still MarchingTickets R100. Find out more here.

Thu Sep 20-Fri Oct 5
A brand new production conceived and directed by Joburg City Theatres’ Artistic Director Makhaola Ndebele, Bantu reflects on the writing, legacy and untimely death of the South African Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, a student leader and anti-apartheid activist who co-founded the Black Consciousness Movement in the 1960s and 1970s which sought to empower and mobilise the South African black population. Tickets R150Find out more here.

Live Music

Fri Sep 21
Fresh from his international tour, the young Lagos-born and raised jazz trumpeter Etuk Ubong performs at Sophiatown The Mix with a seven-piece band as part of the Sophiatown Jazz Encounters series. An intimate jazz venue, Sophiatown The Mix heritage centre is located in the historic neighbourhood of Sophiatown, the 1950s home of South Africa's Drum generation of artists, poets and musicians. Tickets R120. Find out more here.

Thu Sep 27-Sun Sep 30 
Three days, four stages and 38 performers from across South Africa and the world, this is the city's leading jazz festival and one of the biggest music festivals in the country. Major local names on the packed line-up at the Joy of Jazz 2018 include Standard Bank Jazz Artist of the Year Thandi Ntuli, pianist, healer and composer Nduduzo Makhatini, Zimbabwean jazz legend Oliver Mtukudzi, and pianist Paul Hanmer who is performing together with the iconic South African jazz saxophonist McCoy Mrubata. Tickets R700-R1350. Find out more here.

Talks and tours

Sat Sep 15-Sun Sep 16
In celebration of Heritage Month in South Africa, the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation presents its annual Johannesburg Heritage Weekend, with two days packed full of different heritage-themed tours and talks including history walks, visits to local heritage buildings and gardens as well as tours around some of the city’s older and less explored neighbourhoods. See the full programme here. Find out more here.

Sun Sep 23
Take in beautiful views of Joburg and learn about Gauteng's indigenous flora, unique geology and iron age heritage sites on this three hour social hike across the Melville Koppies. The paths are steep and rocky and hikers should bring sufficient water and food with them. Park, meet and pay in the parking area of Marks Park Sports Club in Judith Road, Emmarentia - the hike starts at 08:30. The hike costs R60 for adults, R40 for kids. Find out more here.

The Modderfontein Conservation Society celebrates Heritage Day with a guided walk through historic Modderfontein in east Joburg. The walk starts at 09:00 on Mon Sep 24 at the Dynamite Company Museum (2 Main Street) and lasts two hours, taking in the historic neighbourhood's many heritage buildings and landmarks including the Victorian Franz Hoenig Haus. The tour costs R50. Call Keith on +27 82 450 4003 or +27 11 608 2864 or Robbie on +27 82 800 3704 or +27 11 608 2693 to book.

Thu Sep 27
Celebrating the eternal African tradition of telling stories around the fire, Lebo's Soweto Backpackers hosts this special Story Telling session on the last Thursday of every month. 'Listen, share and learn' is the mantra and the event is imbued with an intimate and unique atmosphere that is perfect for sharing stories and experiences with new people from different backgrounds. Admission is free and dinner can be booked in advance at extra cost. Find out more here.

Sat Sep 29
Flying Cows of Jozi, a Joburg-based organisation devoted to creating connections between organisations and students through work-experience projects in the digital education sector, leads this special fundraising concert and walking tour which is raising money for the students of the Gauteng Opera Academy. All proceeds go towards the Gauteng Opera student fund and donations above and beyond the ticket price are appreciated. To book contact Josine at or call +27 83 729 8435. Tickets R250. Find out more here.

Art Exhibitions

Fri Sep 5-Fri Dec 14
South African financial services group Sanlam celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion is hosting this special art exhibition at the Sanlam Art Gallery, located in their Sandton headquarters. The Centennial exhibition presents 70 iconic works from the exquisite Sanlam Art Collection, one of the largest art collections in the country. Entrance is free. Find out more here.

Until Mon Oct 1
An exact reproduction of more than 2,000 figures painted on the walls of the world-famous Lascaux cave in France which are more than 17,000 years old, this awe-inspiring exhibition transforms Sci-Bono's ground level into a life size recreation of the Lascaux cave. Complementing the French rock art paintings is a stunning exhibition of priceless rock art from the Wits Art Museum collection making this one of the most important exhibitions of ancient rock art anywhere in the world. Admission R48, kids and pensioners R32. Find out more here.
Read more


Connect via social media
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Put our app in your pocket
City Essentials

Download our new City Essentials app

download 4.5