Dlala Nje “Let’s Play” is a dynamic social enterprise that started up in 2012 with a vision to create a community centre for kids in one Johannesburg’s formerly most notorious city landmarks, Ponte, and to create a fresh perception of the city by leading immersive experiences of the inner-city neighbourhoods of Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville.
A pioneering project that has changed the lives of many young people in Hillbrow, Dlala Nje’s latest extension is the planned opening of “Fifty-One-Oh-One” ( 5101), an events venue and restaurant space on the 51st floor of Africa’s tallest residential skyscraper. Once one of the city’s most desirable addresses, the cylindrical Ponte building has been through all sorts of changes in fortune, and was famously the subject of an extensive photographic series by much-awarded South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky, and a number of documentary films.
Today it has settled into being a residential building, belying its dramatic history which has mirrored the rise, fall and on-the-rise again inner city of Joburg.
Built in 1975, Ponte is 173m tall, offering probably the most dramatic views of the city, besides for those from the nearby Hillbrow Tower which has long been closed to the public (rumours swirl of a planned reopening).
Johannesburg’s city centre is on the rise with a growing number of new residential and commercial developments, a commitment by the city’s mayor to deal with some of the most severe issue that have long plagued the city including policing and sanitation, and even the recent announcement of the re-launch of the Johannesburg City Tourism Association spearhead by Isaac Chalumbira of Reef Hotel. The launch was attended by SA Tourism head Sisa Ntshona raising expectations of support for Joburg’s unique tourism experiences from national government.
All of these initiatives, driven both by the private and public sector, are bringing a new focus to the inner-city which has a wealth of attractions that for too long have not received the mainstream attention they deserve from locals or visitors.
According to Dlala Nje, the venue is set to launch in early December 2017 and will cater to pre-booked events that include “brunches, exco-meetings, out-of-office work sessions, book launches, art exhibitions, sundowners and hosted dinner parties. All events are complimented with a Ponte tour detailing it’s undulating history and jaw-dropping views.”
From Dlala Nje’s press release: “After entrenching ourselves in this community for more than five years, we are now thrilled to be opening this extension of our inner-city experiential offering. The events that we aim to host here will be integrating yet unintrusive,” says Mike Luptak, CEO of Dlala Nje Experiences.
Definitely a space to watch, the project is supported by mega-brand Nandos who are never chicken, their art partner Yellowwoods, GrowthPoint Properties, Kempston Properties and Milarchi Architects. And if you haven’t experienced the city with Dlala Nje it is definitely one of our top Joburg recommendations.