Opening doors in Africa and Beyond

Brainchild of Industry Movers

Ian Manley, Aubrey Ngcungama and Julie Killias The talented trio have over 50 years of first hand experience in the hospitality world, whether organising lavish events for dignitaries and diplomats, representing world class luxury brands and celebrities, or networking with and entertaining a slew of A-listers.


Creation of Turnkey Events

The collaboration of three formidable South African hospitality and representation talents has led to the creation of a new turnkey events and brand ambassador representational company.

Hearts and minds of the ‘right’ people

Since forming the company, and thanks to an enviably chunky black book and an infinite amount of inside info, the threesome have certainly been making waves on the Cape Town social scene. Already they have been commandeered by Prince and Princess Natale Labia of Cape Town to relaunch their magnificent seaside property Casa Labia as an exclusive event, dining and art destination. Cult kitchenware brand KitchenAid also made use of their services for the recent South African launch of their new head office in December and already the phones are ringing as brands call on their expertise to launch them into the hearts and minds of the ‘right’ people, be it media personalities, captains of industry or social movers and shakers. Where Vula Afrika goes, it seems surely success will follow.

BLACC Brandy Tour

Past and current clients

KitchenAid Africa
Casa Labia Cultural Centre
Striped Horse
The South African Brandy Foundation



Having listened to and participated in many passionate discussions about wine and the wine industry with their colleagues in the South African hospitality sector, directors at Vula Afrika, Ian Manley and Aubrey Ngcungama realised that there was a genuine need for an organization that could reach out to people who work in the hospitality industry who were interested in furthering their wine knowledge. So together with those same colleagues they created BLACC.
Gregory Mutambe, a BLACC executive board member, explains that the Club is a very personal initiative. “Like my fellow board members, wine was not something I grew up with. My parents never drank wine at the dinner table. Yes, there was alcohol but certainly not wine. This is the case for most black Africans. With BLACC our aim is to change this scenario, to change perceptions around wine and to facilitate making wine and the knowledge thereof accessible to all South Africans by raising awareness about it.” “There is a huge emerging black middle class in South Africa and Africa for whom affordability is not an issue. We know this to be the case with this market segment as we have seen it in their spending power when it comes to buying high end imported products such as Champagne and Cognac. I believe this to be an enormous untapped market and one whose buy-in can only benefit the whole of the South African wine industry. When there is a better and more locally focused wine culture amongst black Africans, there will be a higher demand of locally produced wines.“ “We aim to raise the consumption per capita of wine by adding more people into the wine market as opposed to current drinkers consuming more. And of utmost importance, of course, is the raising of awareness with regards to correct use of alcohol and promotion of responsible drinking. Our aim is also to nurture and support wine professionals and those wanting to enter the industry both in South Africa and in the rest of the African continent so that they too can enjoy and love industry and its wines as we do.”
Luvo Ntezo, a member of BLACC, has, since the early 2000’s been passionate about spreading the wine word. According to him “The townships consume the least liters of premium wine. It’s not a matter of price. If it was, then premium Cognac, single malts and high-end branded vodkas wouldn’t thrive as they do.” “A goal and objective of mine has always been to convince those living in the townships to try wines; good wines. It isn’t easy but it’s not hard either. I’ve realized that it starts with a little enlightened roadshow. The Cape Winelands are so welcoming and hospitable. I’ve taken a number of township friends to the winelands in the last number of years. By doing so, it has given them confidence by association (‘I’ve been there, nice place and great wines they have’). I lived in the townships before, I speak the language, I easily navigate my way around and I now sit in a position of privilege and knowledge and access and I want to share that. I’d love to see more black people drink wine as their first choice, and also produced locally. It is in all our interest to support business within our own continent. BLACC is a means of doing so”.
BLACC, is a voluntary association established and managed according to its Constitution and guided by its primary mandate and object. The object of BLACC is to advance a public benefit through social activities and cultural interests. This object aims to achieve Black empowerment in the wine industry, both within the Republic of South Africa and throughout the African continent. Commercial activity may be undertaken by the Club, however, all such activities will be subsidiary to stated objects. Importantly, all profits generated by the Club will be strictly reinvested into the Club for the benefit of its members and in furthering the Club’s object. The activities of the Club will include, but are not limited to; the provision of academic development for previously disadvantaged South Africans; providing educational initiatives centered on creating responsible drinking awareness; creating shared value in the South African wine industry and increasing inclusion of black South Africans in this sector of the economy.
  • BLACC is a vehicle seeking to bridge the gap between existing stakeholders within the wine and greater beverage sector – using its existing network and skilled executive team for the broader benefit of the wine producing industry.
  • BLACC seeks to enhance the growth of the wine industry while working hand in hand with the wine farmers, workers and interested parties.
  • BLACC is committed to the interconnectivity of the African wine industry with its fledgling group of members hailing from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Central to BLACC’s mission is the promotion of the responsible use of alcohol through a series of planned engagements between the public and its members.
  • BLACC seeks to create mutually beneficial relationships with already existing players in the wine industry. In order to achieve these goals, BLACC will approach all interested parties in good faith and in the interests of creating shared value.
  • While BLACC is an association focused on the promotion of black empowerment, it is not a workers union of any manner or form. Therefore, BLACC will not represent its members in disputes arising in the workplace.
  • BLACC’s executive team will be made up of at least 75% who are black professional sommeliers.


South Africa, Cape Town, October 2018; THE Black Cellar Club (BLACC) is to host its first premium wine and spirits festival this November; BLACC Fest X Langa.

South Africa’s first township, Langa, was chosen for the historic occasion and the Guga s’Thebe Arts & Culture Centre making for the ideal address.

Says Aubrey Ngcungama, co-founder of the Black Cellar Club, which was founded in 2016 by luxury brand representation company Vula Afrika; “The essence of BLACC is to bring South African wines to the greater population of African people who have yet to fully embrace the wine industry, while also encouraging the wine industry to embrace this influential demographic. Through the club’s sommeliers and wine stewards, hospitality workforce and influencers, BLACC has journeyed two short years to become known in the country’s corporate boardrooms and beyond”.

Opening doors and breaking boundaries, BLACC seeks to enhance the great work that already happens in the wine and hospitality industry. Through education, advocating responsible drinking and promoting excellence across the hospitality world, BLACC seeks to ensure that the South African world of wine is recognised for what it is, a world class industry.

BLACC Fest X Langa is a continuation of this message, bringing South Africa’s finest wine estates and distilleries to the people. The township of Langa is a historic place in its own right.

Originating from Langa, it’s been humbling to see so many premium beverage brands coming on board to support this festival. The people have been calling for a revolution, not just any revolution, they’ve been calling for a wine revolution, where they can experience premium brands in their local communities, being served and being educated about those wines, by the cream of the crop of South Africa’s sommeliers.  These are people who ply their trade in some of the top hospitality establishments that South Africa has to offer. So, look forward to a weekend of superb wine and spirits, real South African cuisine, intriguing conversations and soulful beats under the bright African sky“, enthuses Wanda Guma, Brand Ambassador of BLACC Fest X Langa.

A lively, boutique and classy affair, BLACC Fest X Langa will be the debut festival, paving the way for future occasions throughout South Africa in the near future. BLACC’s dream is to bring the wines of South Africa to the main market; to celebrate excellence and ensure a bright future for the country’s wine and spirits industry. BLACC Fest X Langa will be an opportunity for beginning to close the gap. 

Congratulations to the Black Cellar Club on two years of promoting the growth of the South African wine industry whilst strongly advocating responsible drinking and genuine wine education. BLACC Fest X Langa will be an opportunity to highlight township tourism and the local economy”, comments Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape Province.

Says, the Western Cape’s Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde, “Block out your diary now for BLACC Fest X Langa! This promises to be a festival to remember with amazing wine, food and music. Congratulations to Aubrey Ngcungama for putting this festival together and to BLACC for bringing locals together to celebrate wine and winemakers with chefs and music in the culture capital of Langa”.

Need to know info on BLACC Fest X Langa:

  • BLACC Fest X Langa takes place on the weekend of 10 & 11 November 2018
  • Opening times: Saturday, 11h30 – 18h00 and Sunday, 11h30 – 17h00
  • The venue is the Guga S’thebe Arts & Culture Centre, King Langalibalele Street, Langa
  • Tickets are available via Quicket,, and cost R220 per person per day. No under 18-year olds will be allowed access to the premises
  • Saturday and Sunday: 11h30 – 18h00
  • Street food by Jordan’s Way of Cooking and Boulevard 82
  • Festive beats by the Abavuki Marimba Band, DJ Fosta and DJ Sebs
  • BLACC Fest X Langa is grateful for the support of Cape Town Tourism and Peninsula Beverages.

Says Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager for Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages is very proud to be a partner of the first BLACC Fest event taking place in Langa. We have previously supported internationally acclaimed chef Luke Dale Roberts with his pop-up Test Kitchen charity event in Langa, which is a fantastic melting pot of vibrant culture and the perfect launch venue for BLACC Fest. We are thrilled to have some of our world class, locally manufactured brands such as Coca-Cola, Schweppes, Bonaqua and Valpre be part of this prestigious event.”

BLACC Fest X Langa partners include:

  • DISTELL premium wines and spirits
  • Bruce Jack Wines
  • Graham Beck
  • Hartenberg Estate
  • Holden Manz Wine Estate
  • Kumusha Wines
  • Land of Hope Trust
  • Jordan Wine Estate
  • Mosi Wines
  • Steenberg Estate
  • The South African Brandy Foundation
  • Villiera Wines
  • Zandvliet Wine Estate

For Press and media enquiries, contact Ian Manley via Follow BLACC via @blacc_2016,

Follow and join the BLACC Fest X Langa Conversation via:

Facebook: Black Cellar Club
Instagram: @blacc_2016
Twitter: @blacc_2016

The Black Cellar Club (BLACC) was founded by Vula Afrika; a company specializing in bespoke luxury brand representation and turn-key occasions with African panache. Vula Afrika’s directors and shareholders are Julie Killias, Aubrey Ngcungama and Ian Manley. For more information visit

For BLACC Fest partnership and sponsorship enquiries, contact Ian Manley via


Artem Opening

Fine Brandy Fusion

Striped Horse

First Diamonds


Ian Manley

The Communicator

An hotelier by trade, Ian has extensive experience throughout Europe and Africa and co-owns and manages one of South Africa’s most successful perception management consultancies.

Aubrey Ngcungama

The Connector

The archetypal social maven, with influential friends and contacts in all the ‘right’ South African social, diplomatic and political arenas, Aubrey is a dapper man-about-town who is seen on virtually every guest list worth knowing.

Julie Killias

The Fixer

After fifteen years of creating bespoke events and weddings in Charlotte, North Carolina, Julie returned to South Africa in 2000 to set her sights on the local event scene.

When it comes to success in a competitive market place, it’s about both who and what you know and Ian Manley, Aubrey Ngcungama and Julie Killias have both in bucketloads. From occasions fit for South Africa’s premier social and business names-to-know to impeccable brand perception management and promotion, Vula Afrika is certainly the most connected, most capable new kid on the block.

For more information please contact