Suddenly Joburg is the noted city of contrast
“With its beginnings in art, Maboneng has evolved into a collaborative hub of culture, business and lifestyle that entices curiosity, encourages exploration and promotes a sense of urban togetherness.” ~ Maboneng Precinct
An emotional roller coaster awaits you as you take a sneak-peak into the history of Joburg. From a city of appetite in the 60’s to a taboo town in the 90’s punctured by crime, poverty and racism! A sad reality! But today as I stroll through this city marvelled by contrasts a smile leisurely escapes my lips, as I proudly acknowledge a new city. Warmth emanates in a city united! Old and new; rich and poor; black and white, Joburg city is where it all comes together, loudly pronouncing “RAINBOW NATION”! In the true sense of the word one can see a small group gathered on the street corner, where a funky young white girl with purple hair teaches young street children how to strum a guitar.
Not a city notorious for attractions like The Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower, but certainly a city that treasures a vibe so eclectic that it becomes you! Throttling through electrifying streets, dotted by graffiti and vibrant art, it is not unusual to see a cook-up happening upon the side walk. We stepped into a cosmopolitan food hall bustling to life with chatter, laughter and pleasing aromas which captivated all of our senses. Dashing from one stall to another as not wanting to miss out on anything we delighted in tasting rich Italian pastas, fresh seafood paella, chocolate and green tea. Yes green tea organic from creation from les jardins de Gaia. Be prepared to spend to purchase these enchanting buys!
Minutes later we were charmed to lunch amidst a garden speckled with olive trees and pebbles. Canteen, a quaint restaurant delighting in the sounds of salsa with a good choice of food from Sunday roast lamb and Yorkshire pudding to succulent line fish and finger-licking roast beef on Ciabatta bread served with chips in dripping gravy. And this all washed down with a traditional Steph Weiss beer! The atmosphere so jovial and relaxed around us that we befriended some locals and after lunch we hit the Maboneng District streets.
Then at 3pm excitement travelled through the streets as we were told a tight rope walker was going to walk his rope from one building to another. Quickly the streets filled with spectators marvelling the set-up process, and the uniting of cultures as smiles were passed from one to another. Sipping a home-made Jacky Draper (coconut milk, honey and banana) from Uncle Merc’s we felt so alive! Then standing outside Sharp Braai Corner, suddenly our ‘walker’ appeared! A ‘deafening’ silence filled the audience as we held our breath and watched him put one foot in front of the other. Hearing gasps as twice we watched him sway from side to side. Making it across to the Living Room, a roof top bar the audience exploded with delight -whistling, clapping, screaming, and laughing. The beat of this city lifted us!
This rhythm of Joburg is what keeps us going back. But whatever beat does come your way, be sure to know that each time you visit it’s a different beat that will surprise and stimulate your senses.
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Tracy Burrows164 Posts
If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is the more I see, the more there is to see! My name is Tracy Burrows and I am the managing editor of Out There Global, a community driven travel platform for both cost effective and luxury travel ideas around the world. From Jan 2014 - Dec 2016 I managed the LatestSightings.com blog (a United Nations World Summit Award Winner: Culture & Tourism 2016 & National Geographic partner). I was also consulting editor at MOZambique Magazine, and contributor at Sawubona. Prior to my career I obtained a tourism marketing degree, and graduated from a 2 year 'Hospitality Management in Development Program' in California. Following this I acquired a journalism diploma and since it's been all about travel and writing! And my nourishment from all those who have impacted me: family; friends; and strangers alike. Thank you for joining our journey!