Snapped is a companion piece to the hugely successful, "I turned away and she was gone"
Lungi’s B&B in Khayelitsha
This one-of-a-kind guesthouse offers more than just a night’s stay ekasi
“Welcome to my home,” says Lungi Sotyingwe, as she ushers me into the newly built Lungi’s B&B in Khayelitsha. Those who are familiar with the guesthouse’s name will know that it first opened in February 2010 and grew to become an integral part of the community and the tourism sector. But, in December 2014, an unforgiving fire ravaged everything in sight, leaving the chic, shack-style lodge in ruins.
The tragedy, however, did not deter Lungi’s determination, and like a phoenix rising from the ashes, she rebuilt the accommodation spot with the help of close friends. Opened in September 2015, Lungi’s B&B now stands taller and firmer, and is ready to welcome a new wave of guests (just in time for the festive season) who are ready to have a one-of-a-kind kasi experience.
“I’m actually so glad that no one got hurt, and all we lost were the material things,” exclaims an optimistic Lungi as she pours me a glass of steaming tea. The new B&B is bigger and better than the previous one and features two large colourful bedrooms for guests, a conjoined dining room and lounge, a kitchen as well as two more bedrooms for Lungi’s family – giving it an incredibly homely feel.
I’m sitting at a beautiful pine wood table in the living room with Anika Bloks, one of the two main Dutch women who helped Lungi rebuild the cottage. “This is the table where people meet,” explains Anika. “Everyone who walks through that door will have a story to tell, and this will be the place where they can share that with others.”
One of the stories that guests will get to hear is Lungi’s. It was as a domestic worker in a quaint guesthouse in Sea Point that her dream to run her very own spot was born. As fate would have it, she met Marijke Frijters (the other Dutch woman), who shared her passion and gathered a community of support and capital to help her start her own enterprise. Today, the “shack-chic” (as Anika dubs it) accommodation spot combines Lungi’s passions of hospitality and cooking in an enticing, multi-coloured offering.
Guests choose from any or all of the B&B’s ‘eat’, ‘sleep’ and ‘explore’ components. Overnight lodgers have the option of staying in either the red room with double bed or the blue room with two singles (both en-suite) and can indulge in traditional Xhosa dishes like pap, chakalaka and chicken, samp and stew, dumplings and beef, and more.
Once their taste buds have been treated, visitors can experience the kasi vibe on walking tours organised by Lungi with stops at the local playground, art school and a few taverns (where they can sip on African-brewed beer and more). One of the best things about the exploring experience is that Lungi goes all out in ensuring that the community is involved so that she is not the only one that benefits from her dream. From the neighbours who offer parking bays to the taxi drivers who transport guests around the neighbourhood, everyone has an integral role to play.
Even the décor reflect this ‘what’s mine is yours’ philosophy as the art adorning the B&B is created by local artist Sandile Mabece. “You can see how the people live here. It’s not just poor people living here, it’s not just danger, it’s people living life,” says Anika. “Yes, it is a struggle, but there’s also an entrepreneurial spirit and I think that’s an important thing that not only tourists, but locals need to see as well. There’s life beyond Table Mountain.”
That’s precisely what a stay or even a daytime lunch experience at Lungi’s B&B is about – enjoying life beyond the tourist attractions. “I am 100% sure that you will enjoy your stay here,” concludes Lungi. “I love taking care of people and making sure that they have a great experience and are happy in my home.”
Tip: Lungi, Marijke and Anika go all out in ensuring that guests are comfortable and so transport arrangements can be made by request. In addition, visitors are encouraged to let Lungi know their interests so she can customise an itinerary accordingly. Bookings can be made by emailing email@example.com.
The Bill: Prices at Lungi’s B&B are quite affordable. Each room is priced at R500 for two people sharing, per night in low season, and R550 for two people sharing per night in high season. Walking tours as well as the food component are priced separately.
Sivivane Crescent | Khayelitsha | +27 (0)71 005 8817
by Dudu Luthuli
Looking for a super cool attraction in the area? Then read about the Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha.
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