“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – Saint Augustine
On Saturday we did just that, we travelled in our own country to read a new page in the life of one of our oldest cities.
The city of Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa. Johannesburg or Jozi as it is affectionately known by its residents is situated on the highveld with no river or seafront which could assist with its early development. It however does have that magical thing called gold which was the reason for its development.
Gold was discovered here in 1886 by an Australian prospector, which triggered a goldrush, some says is still ongoing untill today.
Johannesburg played a big part in the history of our country and soon became the economical centre of South Africa.
Through the years the CBD has developed, then declined into a state of disrepair and crime, but now it is being uplifted and rebuilt into becoming the fashionable hub of the city again.
It was into this newly revamped and fashionable area that we ventured to see the rebirth of the city for ourselves.
Our first stop was at the Neighbourhood Goods Market in Braamfontein. The market is held every Saturday in what has once been a parking garage of a big building. As early as 9h30 it was allready buzzing with people lining up at the various stall for breakfast. Here anything goes, it seemed. From a traditional English breakfast to paella and oysters with champagne were on offer.
After enjoying breakfast we took to the streets and walked among the colourfully restored old buildings enjoying the vibrant and friendly atmosphere. Then we went on to the Maboneng Precinct, another area of downtown Johannesburg which has recently become a hub for young artists, entrepreneurs and people wanting to live near their work. Here street cafès and small shops are housed in containers or old buildings, creating a cosmopolitan atmosphere for the visitor.
This area is proudly South African as can be seen in this chair ( only one of many ) upholstered with traditional Sheshwe material.
This visit served to whet my appetite for more exploration in my own country and the next page to read must be the Newtown area where street and graffiti art can be seen.