The Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival, after it’s hugely successful inaugural edition, will return this year on August 3rd with a diverse and uniquely curated program that focuses on regional flavours, tastes and trends.

Set on the lavish lawns of the House on Fire Sculpture Garden against a breath-taking backdrop of endless cane fields and rolling hills in Eswatini, just a four-hour drive from Johannesburg at the home of the MTN Bushfire Festival, this is a not-to-be missed event for any food enthusiasts, culture buffs and travellers.

With the global culinary sensation Siba Mtongana already announced as the headliner for the exciting and interactive culinary program, a range of additional activations and engagements have also been confirmed.

Sustainable and Local

Returning to Luju for the second year will be the much-loved Ultimate Braai Master Pete Goffe-Wood, who will host an interactive and collaborative activation in partnership with Malandela’s Restaurant.

A world-renowned chef, a judge of MasterChef and founder of Kitchen Cowboys, Pete will once again host the hugely popular Kids Kitchen at the festival.

Another uniquely African perspective will be presented by heritage specialist Bob Forrester, who will share his insights on traditional healing and the holistic approach of local healers, known as sangomas.  Guests can attend this fascinating talk and also have a healing session with an experienced local sangoma.

Luju means honey – and this year, local honey producer and bee expert Sibusiso Dlamini, from Bulembu Honey, will present an informative overview on the history and current plight of the African honey bee. Global food security is directly dependent on bees, and yet pests, disease, and pesticides are threatening their very existence.

Local honey production and the protection of the honey bee have been identified as essential to community development, as well sustainable farming and job creation within Eswatini.

The Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival is also excited to host the fresh-produce EkuphileniMarket, as well as PELUM Swaziland at this year’s event. PELUM is a network of non-governmental organizations that strive to conserve the environment and actively promote sustainable agriculture practices.

PELUM will be at Luju to share the progress on their first urban garden being created in the capital city of Mbabane, which will be used as an Agroecology training and demonstration centre that can also serve a multitude of other purposes. Demonstrations will include dry sanitation, rainwater harvesting, indigenous nurseries, natural material construction and composting, amongst others.

The Moya Centre, an organization that aims to strengthen the future of Swaziland through the nurture of children, is a well-established safe space for orphaned and vulnerable children in the Mahlanya community. Along with NOSH Food Rescue NPC (NOSH), which aims to reduce food insecurity by diverting, repurposing, and redistributing prepared and perishable surplus food, Moya will host a Kids Corner activation focused on recycling and food security.

Through fun and interactive games and cooking demonstrations, children will have the chance to learn about the various recycling categories, such as waste, recyclables (paper, plastic, metal), biodegradable, and compostable.

 Additionally, Hanneke von Linge from NOSH will be speaking about various other elements of NOSH programming such as moving from food provision to food promotion, and on to food production, and the importance of this to sustaining healthy communities in the long term.

To accompany the various food activations, Luju will be offering an array of drinks spaces and activations. The Drinks Promenade, at the centre of the Luju gardens, is our new adventure within an adventure, that will allow guests to journey through the Luju gardens while experiencing exclusive wines, whiskeys, craft beers and gins from a selection of our new beverage partners.