Thursday, 29 June 2017

My Eight Best Things about Jozi

The Ministry of Fabulousness has been back in Jozi for five months now. Eish. What a change from life in rural Limpopo. Jozi is crazy, busy, wild, creative, intense, unforgiving, edgy. It's loco, it's lulu; it is lovely if you leave it often. Here are my highlights so far:

The Roving Bantu Kitchen I fall in love with this soul space in Brixton on Caroline Street. Sifiso Ntuli and Ashley Heron have put together a creative shebeen chic space offering walking tours, dinners, jazz evenings. A place to gather and talk and drink and navigate the way forward together.

The urban views No, we’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. I happily take part in a wine launch with Nederburg and Sunday Times Good Life Experience on the rooftop of their new HQ in Parktown, edge Hillbrow. There are 360 degree views of the city and its iconic buildings like the Brixton and Hillbrow towers. We celebrate the wine and the sunset, the tastes and stories. Love this forest of glasses... 

The Keyes Art Mile My darling old friend Albie visits from Limpopo, so we take in the Everard Read and Circa Gallery, two of the key galleries that make up this delicious and inspiring route through the arty spots of Rosebank. We cruise the art, deciding which ones we’d buy if we had the money. We love it. Then we go for posh cocktails.

The voice of the sisters I go to the launch of Miss Behave by Malebo Sephodi at Rosebank Exclusive Books and I’m amazed at size of the crowd – yeah, black South Africans do read – and this young woman who speaks with such power and frankness about black sexuality. She decided to misbehave when she encountered historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote, ‘well-behaved women seldom make history’.

Walking in Emmarentia I go often with my friend Paige Holmes, my godchild Miles and their dogs Fudge and Zippy. We all love it. This picture is quiet and still but we do see other walkers, joggers, cyclists, families and plenty of happy dogs. Emmarentia feels like one of the few wide open spaces in this malkop city.

The graffiti Jozi being Jozi there are a helluva lot of walls, and mercifully many of them are now graffiti clad. In some suburbs like Westdene, the neighbourhood walls have become a showcase of local spray paint talent. In Maboneng, entire buildings are turned into artworks. I prefer the rebellious ones to the acid rock ones. This is pretty Che of Putney Road in Brixton.

The walking tours I do the Roving Bantu walking tour of Brixton and Fietas, a gritty urban walk through this space that has long been politically contested. We check out historic spots in the area including Kingston Frost Park with its views, the Brixton Tower, the shebeens and people of Fietas, the Braamfontein cemetery and the grave of Enoch Sontonga who wrote our national anthem.

The Sunday vibe They say Sunday is the day when Jozi is at peace with itself. These guys were just hanging out outside a shebeen in Fietas.

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