Talk, Walk and Lunch at Joziburg Lane – A complete MUST DO!

Joburg Places walking tour 2012. At the Sisulu Sculpture at Diagonal & Market St

Joburg Places walking tour.  At the Sisulu sculpture Cnr Diagonal & Market St (now Albertina Sisulu St)  Photo: Liz at Lancaster 2012

Gerald Garner  of Joburg Places is no stranger to Jozi-ites and regeneration issues in this ever-changing city. He has written 4 books on Joburg and has taken walking tours for many years.  I first went on a tour with Gerald 4 years ago and have been several times since – and have always come away with new insights.  Although I have done a fair bit of research for heritage reports on areas and buildings on inner city Joburg, I seem to have focused on isolated pockets whilst Gerald has an amazing overview and connects the dots in subtle and insightful ways. After reviving the defunct Hubert Davies warehouses at no 1 Fox St into a new hip go-to destination The Sheds, he moved on to start a food market at JoziburgLane at no 1 Eloff St ( a big residential and retail hub being developed by the property developers Molten Black).

 

Gandhi Square: Statue of Gandhi in his legal robes

Gandhi Square: Statue of Gandhi in his legal robes

Now his latest most exciting venture is to start a Talk, Walk and Lunch at Joziburg Lane – 5 days a week, Tuesday to Saturday.  Love the inversion of  ‘walk and talk’ -it’s a brilliant solution to sorting out the logistics of juggling Gerald’s knowledge and his time spent on the walking tours.  I sent guests staying here at Liz at Lancaster on one of his Talk and Walks and they were bowled over at the understanding they got into the changes and developments in this fast paced city.

Gerald’s  1 hour and a half  talk and photo presentation starts at 9 (R80 per person)and gives his overview of Joburg. After his talk, a Joburg Places guide took a 2 and a half hour walking tour of downtown Johannesburg.  After visiting the industrial-to-residential conversion – No One Eloff,  they walked to Gandhi Square and then to the pedestrianised Main Street mining area.

 

Main St: Replica of golden rhino from Mapungubwe

Main St: Replica of golden rhino from Mapungubwe Photo: Liz at Lancaster 2015

Mining headgear in the Main St Mall

Mining headgear in the Main St Mall Photo: Liz at Lancaster 2015

This includes the Rand Club , the golden Mapungubwe Rhino, Hollard Street, the mining headgear and the Anglo American precinct. The tour finishes around the area of the Magistrates court and a visit to Chancellor House where Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo had their law practice in 1952.

 

 

 

Opposite Chancellor House: Shadow Boxer by Marco Cianfanelli (based on photo of Mandela by Bob Gosani)

Opposite Chancellor House: Shadow Boxer by Marco Cianfanelli (based on photo of Mandela by Bob Gosani) Photo: Liz at Lancaster 2015

 

Return to Joziburg Lane for a delicious laid back lunch on the outdoor deck

Return to Joziburg Lane for a delicious laid back lunch on the outdoor deck . Photo Liz at Lancaster 2016

On returning to Joziburg Lane our guests enjoyed  a delicious lunch at Joziburg Deli.  (R150 per person)

The Joziburg Deli is open 9am-5pm, Tuesday till Saturday every week with foodmarket items on sale such as coffee, tea, snacks and many take-home deli goodies too (olives, olive oils, cheeses, relishes, preserves, cured meats and more).

 

 

 

While the all-inclusive package is recommended,  (R350 per person) guests can also book for the talk only (R80) or talk and walk only (R200) should they prefer.  The walk must always be booked together with the talk.

Book now by emailing: gerald@joburgplaces.com

 

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Walking tour of Kliptown Soweto

Laurice Taitz is Jozi’s queen of mavens (aka founder and editor of the amazing publication Johannesburg In Your Pocket). She has an extraordinary knowledge of Joburg and always manages to find relatively unknown hidden gems.  Ntokoza Dube or TK is one of these.  He runs walks through Kliptown and when, in late 2015, Laurice asked if I wanted to join one of his tours, I leapt at the opportunity.  Walking tours are my thing.  In 2013 I wrote a blog about the different kind of perspective and experience one gets when walking a district rather than driving through it.  http://www.lizatlancaster.co.za/blog/walking-in-the-city-explore-joburg-on-foot.

Born in Kliptown TK matriculated in 2005 after which he started doing work for an amazing man called Bob Nameng (who TK said kept him off the streets).  In 1987 Bob started an organization called SKY (Soweto Kliptown Youth) which does a range of community upliftment programmes one of which is running tours of Kliptown.  In 2008 TK showed a group around the neighbourhood and through this met an Australian woman who was so impressed with him that she funded a trip to Australia and gave him a financial leg-up. In 2009 TK worked at Origins Centre at Wits and in 2010 at the Soweto Hotel in a guiding capacity. He has now branched out on his own as TKD Tours.

Foyer of the Soweto Hotel

Foyer of the Soweto Hotel

Contextual displays dealing with repressive Apartheid laws

Contextual displays dealing with repressive Apartheid laws

We met at the Soweto Hotel and after a welcome cup of coffee went to the small museum right opposite the hotel  – a little jewel which focuses on the  1955 Congress of the People  with photographs, newspaper clippings and contextual installations.  It was the Congress of the People that led a year later to 156 of the Congress leaders being arrested in the early hours of 5th  December and the infamous treason trial  The imprisonment in communal cells in Johannesburg Prison (at Constitution Hill) resulted in what Mandela described as “the largest and longest unbanned meeting of the Congress Alliance in years”!

 

Stacks of Impepho

Stacks of Impepho

Gogo Sylvia's Muthi Shop

Gogo Sylvia’s Muthi Shop

 

Wandering off towards the trading hub of Union St  we passed Gogo Sylvia’s muthi shop. Outside were stacks of Impepho for  burning at the birth of a child and brooms to sweep away bad spirits.

 

 

 

 

 

25 Hair dressing

24 hawkers

Union Street was buzzing with street life, informal trading, hawkers plying their wares and fresh produce,  women having their hair done. It was crowded and bustling – kinda chaotic but full of energy.  We were struck by how parts of Kliptown have relatively good infrastructure while others have clearly been badly neglected.

 

As-Salaam Alykum

As-Salaam Alykum

Fresh Halaal trotters and tripe

Fresh Halaal trotters and tripe

The evidence of the multiracial living and working that is so much part of Kliptown’s historical fabric is everywhere to be seen. It is this along with the houses which are individually designed that gives Kliptown its particular feel which is so different from the parts of Soweto where programmatic housing was undertaken.

 

48 historical kitchen

Oom Bolo

Oom Bolo

The highlight of the tour was a stop at Oom Bolo’s idiosyncratic museum. Oom Bolo is a photographer and collector and has developed this self-made museum which highlights everyday life in historic Kliptown.   We enjoyed a colddrink sitting round one of the tables (it’s possible to get a meal) while Oom Bolo had many personal stories to tell about living in Kliptown and what it was like living under the stringent laws of the Apartheid regime.

 

33 House & toilet

71 dirt roadThere is a clear lack of basic facilities and infrastructure  in much
of Kliptown, with communal taps for water, portaloos, no tarred streets, total lack of any drainage, minimal electrical connections etc.

 

 

A community vegetable garden

A community vegetable garden

70 white house & gardenHowever despite this obvious dire poverty and lack of access to basic resources and infrastructure there is a vibrant sense of community and there are so many examples of private individuals making the very best to transform public spaces with urban gardens, attention to pavements, and newly painted houses.

 

Falko and Rasty's work Oct 2015

Photographing the photographer (Laurice Taitz): TK posing against Falko and Rasty’s work Oct 2015

Falko, Martha Cooper and Rasty April 2104. Courtesy Rowan Pybus

(L toR) Rasty, Martha Cooper and Falko April 2014. Courtesy Rowan Pybus

There is some wonderful graffiti in Kliptown too.  Redbull’s Amphiko Academy visited Kliptown during their 10 day event in April 2014 with well-known graffiti artists including Falko and Rasty and the famous American street art photographer Martha Cooper (who had previously visited Kliptown in 2012 with some Brazilian graffiti artists.)

 

By Falko

By Falko

 

By Falko

By Falko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.lizatlancaster.co.za will be recommending this tour to guests as it gives very different insights into Soweto as compared to the drive through in a van or car.  It’s well worth it.  Call Ntokoza (TK) Dube +27 73 133 5234 or email tktours.dube13@gmail.com  to book.  See also: https://www.inyourpocket.com/johannesburg/tkd-tours_140721v

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The sky’s the limit – humbling encounters in Kliptown

I’m no politician and have no sense of how long it takes to address infrastructural issues and inequalities in access to education, health and basic services.   Apart from the homeless living in parks, in culverts and under bridges, we only have to see conditions in places like Alex, Diepsloot, Zandspruit, Kliptown … the list is long and daunting .. to begin to comprehend the challenges that any new municipal government has ahead of it in terms of redressing inequities and providing acceptable living conditions.   Last year I was privileged to join a walking tour of Kliptown led by Ntokoza Dube aka TK (more of TK and his tours in a further blog) as well as more on Kliptown, one of the oldest parts of Soweto and also one of its most neglected areas.

Bob Nameng outside the SKY Foundation

Bob Nameng outside the SKY Foundation

SKY Foundation started in 1987

SKY Foundation started in 1987

One of the places TK took us to was SKY Foundation, the acronym  for  Soweto Kliptown Youth, founded in 1987 by another extraordinary man – Bob Nameng.   Bob, himself a neglected street child, was adopted by the legendary Mama Eva Makoko, who ran a clinic in Kliptown.  As he says, he was given a second chance. Deeply steeped in Christian principles and biblical teachings, SKY runs a number  of initiatives to uplift the surrounding community. These include a learning centre, a youth club, feeding schemes, Sunday school, sports activities,  care for the aged,  etc.

So when a friend who was moving house wanted to pass on a wonderful collection of children’s books as well as some toys and craft activities, I knew just whom to approach.

 

 

Candice Madondo outside Mighty Evolution Kids Nursery Preschool

Candice Madondo outside Mighty Evolution Kids Nursery Preschool

 

Last week I met TK outside the Soweto Hotel and we crossed the railway line (on foot) and met Bob at Sky Foundation.  After hearing some of Bob’s initiatives undertaken to uplift the surrounding area as well as further plans for the future, we set off for a very short drive to Mighty Evolution Kids Nursery Preschool run by a dynamic passionate young woman, Candice Madondo.

 

 

Entering through a tiny yard with a row of small potties on one side and  Pottiesshoes Shoes Mighty Evolution Kids Nursery Preschoolcarefully lined up on the wall the other side, we were shown into the small 2-room space which is where Candice and her 2 carers look after 28 under 6 year olds.   Thirteen younger ones, ranging from 8 months to 2 and half, were in the first small room while the 15 older ones (from 2 and a half to 6) were sitting 4 to a table in the second room.

 

Bob asking the children how old they are

Learning materials on the wall

Learning materials on the wall

 

Apart from one of the littlies taking fright at Bob’s dreads and a strange umlungu, everybody else was cheerful, engaged and fully ready to count to 20,  rattle of the alphabet and sing some songs.

 

 

 

Daily routineCandice arrived slightly later as, being a Thursday, she was involved in the weekly soup kitchen at the Church. Candice is one of those energetic passionate and committed young women that will always make a difference to the community around her, wherever she is and whatever she does.  She started teaching at Sunday school when she was 14 and is clearly deeply religious.  She told me how  3 years ago God spoke to her in church and prophesied that she would work with children.   At the beginning of 2016, the woman who ran Mighty evolution Kids Nursery Preschool  asked Candice to take it over and Candice knew that God’s prophecy had come true. Now she runs the school with 2 helpers starting at 6.30 in the morning until the last child is collected around 4.30 pm. Parents pay R300 a month for the younger children and R250 for the older children.  Candice said that although the school is registered with the education authorities, because it does not comply with some of the Education Department’s requirements for outside toilets and an outside kitchen, they receive no government funding.

The ultimate Catch 22 situation – you don’t have the funds to become compliant in order to receive the funds you require to become compliant.

Candice plans to transform some of the bleak surrounding area into a playground and even more 'classroom' space

Candice plans to transform some of the bleak surrounding area into a playground and even more ‘classroom’ space

Like Bob, Candice has plans for the future – to extend the school (all with private funds and materials) to include an outside kitchen, outside toilets and an outside play area. The provision of water-borne sewerage disposal is sparse in Kliptown hence the ubiquitous presence of portaloos and Candice will need to take pipes to the nearest disposal point for the new toilets.

Candice was over the moon when I passed on the several bags of children’s books as well as a few items of clothing and some toys.  I now know where any toys, books, activities and baby, toddler and children’s clothes are greatly needed and will be much appreciated. And Candice stressed that anything like paint or any building materials would be used to expand the facilities. And with all the other initiatives at the SKY foundation, all donations – craft materials, clothes, second hand furniture, wall paint, kitchen equipment, the list is endless – will be welcomed by Bob.  As with all communities where resources are scarce, nothing will go unused.

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