Woodstock Street Art Walking Tour – using art as a platform to activate change in our communities!

Woodstock Street Art Walking Tour – using art as a platform to activate change in our communities!

Pam on the Woodstock Art Tour
Street Art- Using Art as a platform to uplift communities.

In 2010 a street artist called Freddy Sam started a street art revolution in Woodstock. He started by asking residents if they would allow him to paint on open walls – showing them the art before painting and getting their permission first.

This has inspired other local and international artists to come and work in the area.  You can now book for a walking art tour of the neighbourhood to see about 40 artworks.  Juma is a local street artist who was involved in creating some of the street artworks in Woodstock.   He is also a qualified guide and will take you on a walk that lasts between an hour and an hour and half.   You meet up with Juma at the local creative shopping centre called The Woodstock Exchange and depart from there.

Juma has tried to expand the art activism as a platform for inspiration and change into one of the biggest Cape Townships – Khayelitsha.  He soon learned that in order to work with the community – he needed to become part of it.  As such he has now moved to the area.  Juma is a qualified tour guide and runs art tours in Woodstock as well as in Khayalitsha township.  He can be contacted on 073 400 4064 or juma.mkwela@gmail.com

I absolutely loved the walking tour of Woodstock. Note that it is a rough area – as such it was such a wonderful treat to have Juma with us!  The whole community know him and everyone sitting outside their homes wanted to say hi to Juma – so we got to chat to half the community – great fun!  We met the locals, the gangsters (Juma advised that people don’t sh** where they sleep!), the police who stopped to say hi, the criminal in the police’s backseat in handcuffs who also smiled and said hi and lots of kids who were playing in the street under the eyes of the community.

Woodstock is an area in transition – the lower part has always been poorer and rougher – but with absolutely fabulous architecture.   With the gentrification of our city – the rentals increased and as such the artists could not afford to stay there.   Among the first to move into Woodstock were the Cape’s two top contemporary art galleries – Michael Stevenson and the Goodman Gallery.  This has been followed by a variety of artistic ventures opening up in the area and renovating the buildings they have moved into beautifully.  Woodstock is worth a long a ramble – on a weekday and on a Saturday.  Not much happens there on a Sunday!

Woodstock Art Tour with our wonderful guide Juma
Woodstock Art Tour with our wonderful guide Juma
Not really part of the art tour – but a fab picture that shows a man having a nap in front of some graffiti! The area is rough!
Pammy with Woodstock Baby!
Her Grandaddy offered to let me have her! Too cute! Fab to meet and chat to the locals!
Gangster Nonnie in Woodstock!
We met one of the local gangsters who had only been out of prison for three weeks! He posed for me and when I asked if it was ok to put him on my website – he said – “Lady I am a naughty boy – I have just gotten out of jail!” It was great fun to chat to Nonnie too!
The back entrance to the Woodstock Exchange
The last “street art” work at the back entrance to the Woodstock Exchange. The Woodstock Exchange is an entire art journey in itself!
Artwork of man with wild cat!
I love this one! I definitely think he is being eaten
Woodstock man in front of funky striped wall
I love that every piece of artwork has been approved by the owners of the walls! Here a man proudly sits in front of his funkily painted wall
Woodstock kids hanging out
Woodstock kids hanging out
The tour was a birthday gift for my friend Mark who is an artist who lives in Oman!
The streets of Woodstock!
The streets of Woodstock – just to give you an idea of how the art lifts the area!
Rhino 1
A common theme in the art was the Rhino’s – with so much carnage going on in Africa, the next generation may never get to see one
More Nonni
We had long chats with Gangster Nonni!
Great to see art being used to spread the conservation message
Rough next to the house where we met Nonnie!
Zebra Man!
Awesome picture – so sad that there was a shadow on the building when I was there!
Save the Rhino Funky Chic
Save the Rhino Funky Chic – absolutely love her!
House fully painted with art in Woodstock
Who needs to paint your home when you can get a fabulous artist to decorate it!

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To book for a walking tour of the Woodstock Street Art – please contact Juma (Street Artist and Tour guide) to book directly:

He can be contacted on 073 400 4064 or juma.mkwela@gmail.com

Update – 2019 – Juma is still running the Woodstock Street Art Tours.   He expanded the initiative to Khayalitsha where the proceeds of the street art there touches communities through fixing up premises such as child care buildings and through planting vegetables gardens in the communities.   Book now to experience the Cape Town Street Art