Set on the lavish lawns of the House on Fire Sculpture Garden against a breathtaking backdrop of endless cane fields and rolling hills, August 4th 2018 is a day not to be missed. Luju is the event for food enthusiasts, culture buffs and travelers looking for a unique and sophisticated African-vintage styled event celebrating the local, the wholesome, the creative, and the delicious.
Through its African vintage theme, Luju will pay homage and celebrate Africa’s beauty and style, through all our senses, from the past, the present, and the future. Luju is a journey of the senses where our ears are awakened by sounds inspired by Miriam Makeba’s township jazz or Fela Kuti’s hip swaying afrobeat music and modern electro beats that electrify the dance halls of Mali and Sophiatown.
Our taste buds and sense of smell are taken on a truly African adventure, celebrating our wines, coffee origins, organic foods, and even our grandmother’s kitchen.
The House-on- Fire ampitheatre will be transformed into a culinary stage with one of the headline chefs being the the well-loved J’Something – attending in his capacity as a chef and food lover, as well as later taking to the main stage to frontin a performance from the SA legends – Mi Casa on the Luju Main Stage.
J’Something’s spicy authentic Portuguese heritage and hearty homegrown South African food has become his trademark. Most recently he has been showcased as a headline chef appearing next to greats such as Marco Pierre White, Jan Hendrick and George Calombaris.
Pete Goffe-Wood, the Food Alchemist, will be presenting a braai masterclass in partnership with Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Together they will create gourmet Shisa Venison dishes inlcuding Impala, Wildebeest, Warthog and Inyala.
Pete has been a professional chef for the past 31 years. He was classically trained at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks and worked in London for nine years where he cooked in some of the West End’s award winning restaurants. Pete is currently judging Ultimate Braai Master on e.tv and consults for the Majeka House, a boutique hotel in Stellenbosch as well as for Bosjes in the Breede River Valley, and Bazaar on Florida in Durban.
Eighteen13 Wine Club will be activating on site with South Africa’s first Black female winemaker, Ntsiki Biyela, who in 2009 was named as South Africa’s Woman Winemaker of the Year. In 2017, Biyela launched Aslina wines, a self-funded wine business. As the company begins producing wine, Biyela will be using grapes from local vineyards, with four Aslina varietals: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Bordeaux blend that will echo her 2014 collaboration with California winemaker Helen Keplinger.
Music and Performance
Sophisticated African sounds – from the soulful hits of MiCasa and the Afrocentric power of Thandiswa Mazwai, to the jazzy collaborative The Rebirth of Cool that brings together some of South Africa’s best hip-hop artists and jazz musicians, and the earthy Blues of Albert Frost, the Luju Main Stage will be a feast on its own.
After his daytime appearance in his chef’s hat, J’Somethng and MiCasa will take to the main stage with their infectious roster of hits, headlining this world-class line up.
The Rebirth of Cool will create a genre-bending night that combines elements of old school jazz, trap, R&B and hip-hop inspired by the Miles Davis album, the Rebirth of Cool, this exciting musical showcase brings back the magic of the post-bebop jazz era. The ensemble band features emerging South African jazz stars such as Benjamin Jephta and Thandi Ntuli who were Standard Bank Young Artists of The Year for Jazz in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
South African Blues guitarist Albert Frost, dubbed “the South African Hendrix,” is part of this all-star line up, while African power-house Thandiswa Mazwai will light up the African night with her seamless combination fothe urban and the rural, the traditional and the modern.
Guests visiting for the weekend and looking to stay closer to the festival grounds for the duration of the event will be happy to know that Rush Adventures will are bringing their luxury camping.
Rush Tent Hotels will provide a unique up-market camping experience for guests visiting Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival. Located within in walking distance from the main event, Rush Tent Hotel gives you the benefits of a tranquil environment near the festival plus some great homely comforts.
Their sturdy spacious walk-in canvas tents contain comfy beds, clean cosy warm linen, and each tent boasts its very own hot water shower and personal portable flushing toilet located discreetly behind each tent. In the morning guests will be treated to great coffee and a full buffet breakfast, giving you the energy and wellbeing to enjoy the festival and all it has to offer. Bookings can be made online when you purchase your festival tickets.
Visitors are also encouraged to make a full weekend experience including the culturally rich and memorable Swaziland Meander with some of these activities that will be hosted by official Luju partners:
Ngwenya Glass: Glass Blowing (Ngwenya)
Since 1987, Ngwenya Glass has been making glassware in Swaziland from 100% recycled glass, building on a reputation of quality, functionality, beauty and environmental awareness. Visitors will be able to view the glassblowing from 9am to 2pm on Sunday August 5th at the glass factory which is strategically located near the Ngwenya/Oshoek border leading into South Africa. There will be a team creating some unique glass artworks on the day and visitors will be able to watch at no cost.
Mantenga Cultural Village (Ezulwini)
Situated in a Ezulwini Valley within the Mantenga Nature Reserve, the Cultural Village is a natural display where visitors can learn about everyday life in a traditional Swazi homestead, and enjoy vibrant traditional dance shows staged at two intervals, 11h15 and 15h15. There is also a small network of hiking trail and the nature reserve also offers excellent bird watching opportunities.
Swazi Candles (Malkerns)
Guests can enjoy the vibrant, music filled workshop in the Malkerns Valley where they can interact with the candle artisans as they work their magic. The Swazi Candles shop is situated a few kilometers from the Luju venue and is located in a complex where visitors view local and African fashion; design arts and crafts; and relax amidst beautiful views at a coffee shop within the centre of it all.
Tree Top Canopy Tour (Malolotja)
Experience the thrill of gliding through the forest canopy in one of the last mountain wilderness areas left in eSwatini. The Malolotja canopy tour offers most dramatic scenery you will ever encounter with striking rock formations, towering cliff faces, a rich diversity of flora and fauna, across a lush forest canopy towards the Malolotja mountain forest peaks. Tours happen twice daily at 10h00 and 14h00 depending on volumes.
Swazi Trails Amazing Race
This wacky and fun activity is an exploration challenge that will bring you learning, laughter and new insights into the subtle charms of Eswatini. Tackle it as a couple, a family, or a group of friends. The playing field is approximately 500sq.km – a landscape of roads, trails, mountains, rivers, monuments, museums, villages, markets, stalls and attractions in the Ezulwini, Mbabane, Malkerns and Manzini area. You will need a vehicle for travelling and a cellphone for mapping and research. Then race to the finish to beat the cut-off time.
National Museum and King Sobhuza Park (Lobamba)
This National museum is an amazing cultural experience and captures the link that Swaziland has with nature and the love it has for nature, the beautiful mountains, countless rolling hills and green pastures are all depicted in the natural history hall.