‘The Nobel Street’ where Mandela and Tutu lived

Updated 5:53 AM EST, Tue February 24, 2015

Story highlights

Business-owners in Soweto say tourism is helping the area transform

Both Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela have lived in the area

4.3 million people visited Johannesburg in 2014

As businesses grow more Soweto residents are joining the middle class

CNN Marketplace Africa covers the macro trends impacting the region and also focuses on the continent’s key industries and corporations

(CNN) —  

Not many streets have been home to a Nobel Laureate – and even fewer have been home to two. Yet, Vilakazi Street in the heart of bustling Soweto has been exactly that, housing both South African leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. And this claim to fame is paying dividends for current residents – helping transform the area into a thriving business community.

Here, visitors from all over the world walk past traditional dancers, hawkers and waiting taxis to visit the building that was Mandela’s home when he walked free from prison on Robben Island in 1990. With its restaurants, boutiques and bars, this buzzing boulevard is no ordinary residential road.

Surviving legacy

For local entrepreneur Sakhumzi Maqubela, it was words spoken by the iconic freedom fighter that inspired him to open a restaurant in the area – and provide employment for people in his community.

“Mandela used to fight with people that ever since there is black government people are complaining unemployment is high, the crime is high,” Maqubela remembers. “Mandela was saying, ‘what are you doing in your own capacity to create jobs?’”

04:44 - Source: CNN
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