Photography by Lauren Mulligan
Paul Siguqa stood at the podium, looking out at the sea of people waiting to hear him speak. There was barely any standing room in the conference hall—organizers struggled to fit in as many guests as possible. They had underestimated, not expecting such a turnout for this, the first afternoon seminar at Cape Wine’s 2022 exhibition. People—eager to learn about the shift occurring in South Africa’s wine industry and how Black people were leading the transformation—turned out in droves.
Siguqa, the son of a farm laborer, gave an impassioned speech about changing the narrative long bestowed on Black farmers in South Africa. He talked about land ownership, diversifying the value chain and the benefits a more inclusive wine industry could bring for the country’s entire economic landscape.