A weekend in Africa's Capital of Enjoyment and Sweet Living, Jozi
"The yellow glistens.
It glistens with various yellows,
Citrons, oranges and greens
Flowering over the skin."
― Wallace Stevens
When I think of Johannesburg or Jozi, I think of yellow. The round circle of the moon the feeling of sun's rays on a sticky yet exciting day, the light that stays through the coldest night. Pure light that has not only brightness but emotional resonance and depth. The colour yellow is not an in-between colour you are either all in, or you are not. That to me is what Jozi feels like and is like, it is not an in-between city, it is energy, vibrancy, warmth and colour.
And oh my goodness, if you have been to Jozi, its people are jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I must have exhausted friends and anyone who would listen about how beautiful the people of Johannesburg were. "Have you seen these people? Look at them, look at how beautiful this one is. And they let me take a picture of them. Look."
And yet these words beauty, beautiful, gorgeous, stunning they feel unsatisfactory, not good enough. There is an essential quality about the people of Johannesburg for which I have no word, an elegance, it is something in how they move their wrists, how their voice and intonation sits in a sentence. In any case, the word beauty and its related synonyms are to me not entirely suited to the people of the African capital of enjoyment.
If you ever find yourself in this gorgeous capital, this is what I recommend.
1. Take a tour of Soweto on a bicycle for a ride through the history of apartheid resistance. It ends at the Orlando Towers, where you can bungee jump or eat at my favourite braai spot Chaf Pozi. Go back to Soweto and have a delicious beer on the only street in the world that was home to two Nobel Laureates-Vilakazi Street-it also hosts Mama Winnie Mandela's restaurant too.
2. Eat Mapone worms and pap at Homebaze Restaurant where they serve Kenyan, Nigerian and South African food
3. Go to Maboneng and eat trotters and tripe at Pata Pata, they also have killer chilli mojitos! Walk around this beautiful artsy and hipster district and party away at one of Jozi's best rooftop bars with a view of the city, Living Room Jozi
4. Follow @LeloWhatsGood and go to all the gigs he plays in! Seriously! I had a fantastic time in Braam and Newton and everywhere in between in the city including a fantastic night at the Afro Punk Battle of Bands
5. Speaking of Afro Punk Battle of the Bands, keep an ear out for Muneyi, one of the hottest sounds coming out of the capital
6. Walk around the Art Mile of Rosebank and head over to Marble Room for the view and the champagne, hideaway in the secret bar Sin+Tax after!
7. Brunch at little street cafes at Parkhurst while you are entertained by moving dancers and singers