A blog by Wandisile Sebezo.
Wandi’s Travel Diaries: Maboneng Precinct
So I am in Johannesburg for the whole month of May – this is me being true to some of my academic commitments, but that’s not important.
Being a lone traveler and curious that I am, I made my way to the Maboneng Precinct in downtown Jozi last Sunday.
Maboneng means “place of light” in seSotho. And it’s one buzzing creative district – from coffee shops, restaurants, local clothing lines, craft beers, street food and of course a variety of good music.
It’s basically the coolest knighthoods in this part of the city.
I took the Gautrain from Midrand (where I am based) to Rosebank, then used Uber from there to the precinct. As soon as you get closer, the mood and the vibe of the area alerts you that you have arrived.
I had two items on my agenda; food and dashiki shirts (African print shirts for men, originally from West Africa), because they are more easily accessible here in Jozi than they are in Plett.
Concerned about crime, my Uber driver assures me that downtown Jozi is not what it was during the early 90s when the city was one of the crime capitals of the world.
It seems the Maboneng Precinct project has managed to stabilise crime in this previously abandoned neighbourhood.
I went to Pata Pata. This South African grill has some of the best African cuisines on offer. Sample the tripe (Mogodu as they call it here) with dumplings, vegies or shimi (pap). Be sure to visit during on Friday or Saturday when they have live music.
Other interesting spots include Living Room, The Hideout Bar, Origin and Little Addis among others.
Next time in Jozi, be sure to come around and have a taste of Africa. Maboneng is the melting pot of different cultures that pass through this city.