Xhanti Nokwali is a creative entrepreneur and professional performer. His ancestral home is Engcobo, although he has lived in different parts of the Eastern Cape. For most of his professional career, he has been based in East London. He currently lives in Komani and it’s in this space where he want to build the foundation of his organisation, Rootland Initiative. Previously its focus was curating events but now it has expanded to include an agricultural aspect into its vision, mainly because it wishes to be of service to underserved communities in this region and eventually internationally.
Rootland Initiative now has a small nursery in Ezibeleni. From their place of residence, they sell veggies and sweets and also run a tattoo parlour, produce music, fine art and crafts… It also offers artists support in their mission to grow as independent creatives, whether this is administrative or creative support. All their clients are given an empty canvas when deciding to collaborate with the organisation and, in this way, it tailors our services to their needs.
Among many other projects, Rootland is trying to rehabilitate the Queenstown Arts Centre, produce an archive of indigenous knowledge and music from all around the continent as well as run a soup kitchen in an area called Mlungisi. Xhanti is confident that his enterprise is unique because it has been active in the arts informally since 2013 and they have not seen any organisations in the space which answer the needs they intend to address.