A visit to Cape Town’s hottest new attraction: Zeitz MOCAA

If you didn’t know what MOCAA is – the Museum of Contemporary African Art. First of its kind, first in Africa. This is good stuff, even for a cultural philistine like myself.

Let’s backtrack. A few years ago the V&A Waterfront significantly upped their game in terms of strategic initiatives to expand its product. There have many big wins for us in the tourism industry – the Red Shed, the Food Market, the Oranjezicht farmers market, the Big Wheel… but now they have hit it out of the park.

The dilapidated old grain silos, which were essentially – and historically – an eyesore, have been transformed into a world class business precinct, an uber luxury hotel and… a museum to match the Guggenheim, the Tate and the Prado.

The Silo Hotel is THE hot new spot in Cape Town. It shared the building with the museum, and you can actually look down from the deck outside the restaurant down into the museum atrium – which has been designed in the shape of a piece of grain (believe it) to majestic proportions. The initial exhibit is a dragon African style. The effect of this exhibit, contextualized in a modern cathedral of impressive contradiction, assaults you visually much in the same way anyone feels by round 5 in the ring with Floyd Mayweather. That’s art talk. Except for the bit of Mayweather.

The powerhouse German businessman and philantropist that seeded the collection is Jochen Zeitz – google him and be impressed.

The guys doing the talking at the launch had me spellbound too. I get why the Waterfront is doing so well – CEO David Green clearly know what he’s doing, and the architect Thomas Heatherwick? That chap is one of those people that I theoretically would have on my list for a dream dinner party.

A big thanks and kudos to Chantelle Cole, strategic projects manager from the Waterfront, who arranged for Caroline and myself to attend this special pre-viewing. The museum opens on the 22nd, tickets are R180 and we are immediately adding this as an optional activity on our city tour offering.


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