Dumisani Mnisi is a student journalist for Wits Vuvuzela. She captured the Africa Day celebrations and market at Constitution Hill, in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. 

Africa day is celebrated annually on May 25 to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). 

This event is a celebration, filled with African music, fashion, food and people from all over the world enjoying the festivities. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 celebrations had to be moved indoors.  

This year, the Locrate market and Constitution Hill partnered to host a two-day event, “with the aim to grow and collaborate with more African artists, SMMEs and creatives”, says event organiser, Kgosi Rampa, in Music in Africa. There were food and alcohol stalls set up as well as different businesses across the lawns. 

Venue of the event

Uniform of the women’s prison wardens exhibited at the Women’s prison. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi

The event was hosted outside the lawns of the Woman’s Jail at Constitution Hill. The prison dates to 1910, and housed women who were convicted of political crimes and common law. 

 Entrepreneurs and businesses at the market

Bongi Khubeka, knits and sells hats, her business is called ‘Different stories creation‘. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi

Sinekhaya Manciya, founder of ‘Snezar’, a fashion brand that designs environmentally friendly, bespoke bamboo wooden timepieces. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi




Plants sold by ‘We are succulents’. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to the business founders and partners exhibiting at the event about how the covid-19 pandemic has influenced their businesses. Many echoed that there has been a decline in sales because many markets around Johannesburg have shut down. Selling online has been challenging as many of the entrepreneurs don’t have online stores.  

Khaya FM Dj, Nicky B and afrocentric music curator, Ntokozo Shezi. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi


Mopani worms, also known as ‘masonja’, and ditloo( roasted jugo beans) are common snacks in African cultures. Afribites makes and sells them in different flavours. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi


Katelego Moketi, founder of Market Place, an NGO which supports and promotes small business in Botswana. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi.

The Djs including Nicky B, Afroshezi and Sthe to name a few, serenaded the event with pure African sound ranging from Congolese music to our own late Brenda Fassie. The event continued into the late afternoon. The attendance of people was less than one would have anticipated, however, this could have been affected by the chilly weather and third wave of the pandemic in the province.  

Those who attended, like myself, appear to have had a fantastic time. The Congolese sound had us out of our seats, the art and goods sold showcased the best of South Africa’s cultures and the buildings reminded us of how far we’ve come as a country

Empty benches at the entrance sums up the event’s overall turnout. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi

FEATURED IMAGE: Zimbabwean flag hung at the Constitution Hill for Africa day. Photo: Dumisani Mnisi