The closing down of Kitcheners is a symptom of something more serious than an economic downturn

Joburg's arts scene suffers due to business closures and lack of government support. RISE Mzansi fights for a caring and talented South Africa.
Published on
May 19, 2024

The Disappearance of Cultural Hubs

First, it was Orbit, then Leano. Now it is Kitcheners. At face value, these seem to be businesses adversely affected by tough economic times. But these establishment were more than just restaurants. They were places of convergence for the hotpot of diversity that is the Joburg social scene. Musicians, poets, comics, writers, and performers occupied these spaces to express themselves artistically. Many skills and talents were honed at these establishments. So no, these are not just businesses that have gone under, because of an economic downturn. They are places that continue to leave many performers without artistic homes.

Macro Failures and the Culinary Industry

These are not just business failures; they are a reflection on unmitigated macroeconomic failures. The failures of Eskom mean the food spoils and “best served chilled” means serving at sub-standard quality. The failures of Rand Water mean all aspects of the food and beverage industry become a biohazard risk. The failure to maintain law and order means patrons and performers alike become averse to frequenting these establishments. And the failure of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture to meaningfully invest in talent at grassroots level, means you have a ministry preoccupied with spending millions of Rands on one-night-trophy-and-trinket extravaganzas instead of building a solid foundation for an industry that has the potential and talent pool to compete with the likes of Bollywood and Nollywood.

A Cry for Care

With every government failure comes broken hearts and dreams, and often broken bank balances. And it all boils down to something seemingly insignificant but with a great bearing on fabric of our society; care. A caring government would not allow its citizens to become so destitute as to choose death because hunger just became too much to bear. And unfortunately, care is not a policy position. Care is rooted in people and their sense of duty. The people who govern this country need to care just as deeply about the things that people care about. The people currently in government have shown us in very explicit ways that they do not. It is for this reason that we need new leaders.

RISE Mzansi: A Movement of Care and Talent

RISE Mzansi is a movement by talented South Africans from diverse industries, with an understanding of the interconnectedness of the failures that we need to solve for. But apart from the talents, we are a movement of people who genuinely care about South Africa and her people.

Get Involved
Let's rise together for a safer, prosperous, equal, and united South Africa.
Related Articles
Sunday, May 19, 2024

A Tale of Two Water Cultures: Inequality and Injustice in South Africa

South Africa faces stark water inequalities rooted in apartheid legacies and governance failures, requiring community involvement and stewardship for solutions.
Sunday, May 19, 2024

How Our Food System Creates Food-Hunger, and How Rise Mzansi Plans to Fix It

From rising food insecurity to environmental destruction, the current South African food system is full of problems. Chief among which, is its failure to effectively feed our people!
Sunday, May 19, 2024

South African safety troubles more than just a policing issue

SA's safety concerns extend beyond policing; RISE Mzansi advocates for a holistic approach addressing socio-economic factors for lasting change.