Jonopo Traditional Village and Craft Centre is situated at the Qunu Administrative Area. It is on the National Road, 34km from Umtata on the way to Idutywa and only 7km from former President Nelson Mandela’s residence, Qunu.
Joyce Nocollege Poqela established Jonopo in 1992. The name ‘JONOPO’ comes from the first two letters of her three names. Jonopo Traditional Village and Craft Centre was established to provide an insight into Xhosa tradition, culture, lifestyle and history in an ambience aimed at giving visitors an African experience.
The founder invites you to enjoy an insight into the traditions and customs of the Xhosa people of this region in rondawels (round huts), furnished with themes of Xhosa culture. Some of what you can see include the customs of Ibhoma (boys initiation), Intonjane (girls initiation), and Isangomas (traditional healers), who still practise in specially built rondawels. Jonopo also offers tourists an opportunity to sleep in traditional Xhosa bungalows and backpackers dormitory style bunks.
This is an initiative catering for the community, where people are able to display and sell their wares to visitors in order to earn income and therefore be able to sustain a livelihood. All garments and traditional wares are handmade and comprise some of the following items: Traditional attire/garments, beadwork, grass wares, basketry, and pottery.
Also available are traditional wares as gifts such as:
- VULA KABINI – A men’s tasselled beaded necklace usually bought by a girlfriend as a gift;
- UNCUMO – A longer necklace meaning smile;
- UMQHOBOKA – a gift from a boyfriend.
Jonopo also caters for those who love Xhosa traditional cuisine. Home cooked traditional food on request is provided to guests. These include: imifino, umngqusho, amarhewu, isophu, umqombothi, umqa, porridge, dried pumpkin, Xhosa stews, dried traditional sweet corn.
Good accommodation is available such as a family room, Caravan Park and also a sheltered braai (barbeque) area. Tour guide services are also available, through which the scenic area of Qunu and the surrounds of Nelson Mandela’s residence can be explored.