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September 15, 2009

Rainbow Experience brightens Mandela Rhodes Place


The Rainbow Experience, a multi-level concept store, launched at Cape Town hotel and lifestyle complex Mandela Rhodes Place on Tuesday, September 1. 

Described as a destination store that showcases South African innovation and design, The Rainbow Experience is set around the story, life and leadership of former president Nelson Mandela.

The store offers an espresso bar and internet café, experiential learning workshops and a documentary movie experience of Mr Mandela’s life, as well as design works, music, fashion, gifts and creative events space.

From October, the store will also host jazz jam sessions.


The impressive list of cool Capetonians who turned out for the launch was welcomed by an expression of local music and culture. At the entrance, a graffiti artist was painting a garage door with edgy street images.

Through the front entrance and the familiar rainbow stripes of Cape Town Tourism, an equally colourful vitamin mineral water display provided welcome drinks. 

A wide selection of art and crafts were on display, including bead work, funky décor items, Afrikaans poetry and children’s books, with South African artworks on display upstairs. 

Guests milled about in the lobby, enjoying delicious snacks and local wine while being regaled in true African style by enormous Malian puppets and a marimba band, which formed the official welcome. Downstairs, plush leather sofas awaited the trendy crowd in the VIP lounge. 


At 19h00 the marimba band trumpeted the vuvuzela fanfare, a rhythmic, uniquely South African vuvuzela orchestra that will be heard at a number of Cape Town Tourism events in the run up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Heart 104.9FM DJ Marguerite Freaks announced the launch of The Rainbow Experience and the start of World Tourism Month, aptly themed “Celebrating diversity”.

As the evening wound down, a group performed a freestyle hip-hop dance in the street against a backdrop of graffiti artists working on their creations – a wonderful example of the diverse, colourful and creative spirit that characterises Cape Town’s city centre.

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