By Shannon Wilson
It is festive and tranquil. The sun shines through the path of the market, colouring the roof gold. Clothes, plants and burgers pave the way to the bar and seating area. The wooden picnic tables under the sun-kissed roof are densely populated and lined with wine bottles, water and cocktails.
Rhodes students Sithasolwazi Kentane and Buhlebezwe Ndaba first started the Atmosphere Market on Sunday, 31 May 2015. Kentane is presently in her fourth year of her degree in photojournalism and Ndaba is in her penultimate year of her Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB). It was a concept that they formed early in 2015 but put on the “back burner” until May, when the two began to get a team of people together to turn the idea into a reality. That team compromised of close friends that Kentane and Ndaba could trust to execute their idea. Their vision was to create a place where people could go on a Sunday, says Kentane, a place “to chill with their friends, have a good time, have a couple cocktails – just have a good Sunday.”
Third year student Nicole Young looks as though is enjoying a chilled Sunday as she sips on her red strawberry daiquiri while basking in the setting sun. “It’s a really great place to come on a Sunday. It definitely beats watching series all day!” she says.
While Young savors her cocktail second year, Bachelor of Arts (BA) student Kelly Boyers and third year BA student Mic Moxham are selling clothes and jewelry for their shop Pistol Mae at the Market. While Jehovah Jireh Haven (JJH) Educational Project have a stall where donations can be made to JJH, which is situated in Alexandria. The JJH Educational Project is a society that aims to assist the children being cared for at the haven. The society does this by tutoring the children two to three times a week in Alexandria. In addition to these tutoring sessions, the society provides JJH with clothing, stationary and other various forms of donations. Currently, the market is compromised of stalls selling plants, burgers and clothing.. As the market has grown, more shops have come to Kentane and Ndaba asking to join in.
Entrance for the market is R5, which is highly affordable and allows for most people, students included, to come and enjoy their Sundays. This cost helps the duo to cover the hiring costs of tables and chairs, or any other expenses that may arise. Otherwise; “it’s a non-profit event because we’re not trying to make money for ourselves,” says Ndaba.
Both Kentane and Ndaba have, dreams of taking the market to other provinces. They acknowledge that the reality of doing so would be difficult, but they have faith that they have enough fire between them to get it done if the Atmosphere Market proves to be successful.
Kentane and Ndaba added that they both enjoy their Sundays at the market.“It’s so much fun and it’s something that we wanted for ourselves as well.”
At present the goal is to make the market a place where “Grahamstown wants to come on a Sunday,” says Ndaba.
Where: 37 on New
When: To Be Announced