The town of Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa has formerly only been renowned for the Soweto Riots during the Apartheid era. But today, artists and extreme sport lovers have disbanded this stigma by creating some truly revolutionary street art on 33-storey high cooling towers.
The Orlando Power Station was constructed in 1935 but took until 1955 to complete, due to delays caused by the Second World War. The power station was operational until 1998, and transformed into an entertainment and business centre in 2008.
One tower is branded with one of South Africa’s largest banking institutions, First National Bank, who is also a major contributor to the rebuild of Soweto as a tourist attraction. The second tower is painted with various murals that highlight South Africa’s diverse culture: The world-famous Soweto String Quartet; typical suburban houses in the township of Soweto; local barters selling fresh produce; and the iconic Nelson Mandela, who was instrumental in ending the Apartheid era.
The neglected cooling towers have now been transformed into a vertical adventure facility and distinctive tourist attraction. Adrenaline enthusiasts can choose from extreme sports such as bungee jumping, abseiling, zip lining, pendulum swinging and more. On special days, rap jumping is offered, and experienced base jumpers are welcome. To find out more about the variety of sports offered, visit the Orlando Towers website.
This vibrant street art has transformed the grey, lifeless concrete into a colourful, beautiful canvas. It has also reinvented the ambiance of the entire city. It has created connectedness where once only division existed. It has created renewed hope for a positive future, despite a harrowing past. This street art now serves as a constant reminder that vision, determination and creativity are able to create a masterpiece in even the most unlikely settings.