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Words: Lucy Sarah O’Connell | Images: Supplied

The handmade, homespun, organic and authentic trades are growing in leaps and bounds in South Africa, and as discerning shoppers seem to be increasingly appreciating the fact that local really is lekker, there seems to be no shortage of events to pick up something special. With so many Joburg markets and fairs around, it can be hard to choose a favourite – but one thing’s for sure, the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair is undeniably one of the loveliest.

Taking over the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner shopping centre from 12 to 14 October, visitors are always taken aback by the sheer transformation that this area undergoes for the fair each year. What normally sits as a sleep parking lot finds itself suddenly bursting with light, colour, sound, and the most infectious great vibes. For first time visitors, it can be a little overwhelming to the senses, with something to see, hear, smell, touch and taste around every corner… and of course more than enough to buy.

Championing innovative design, food, and wine, the annual fair prides itself on the competitive and discerning process that vendors must go through in order to get a stall so you can guarantee that each and every beautiful creation has been individually selected. And the result speaks for itself: guests are treated not just to a selection of wares that will have you reaching for your credit card, but also an opportunity to speak to the passionate, determined creators behind them. With a floral G&T or glass of crisp champagne in hand, you can spend hours just wandering the fair and making new friends.

Whether you’re looking to invest in a unique artwork, wanting to stock up your liquor cabinet with some local tipple, keen to get your Christmas shopping done early, or even just looking for a delicious meal out in Joburg, the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair is just what you need to kick start your summer. Arrive early (and hungry), wear comfortable shoes, and prepared yourself for an overload of proudly South African genius.

Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair