It’s been a while in the making, and now it’s just a few days until the Joburg City Festival (an initiative of the Joburg City Tourism Association) kicks off. See my earlier posts Joburg gets an inner city festival and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra outside the Rand Club. On the programme is music, art, walking tours, a film festival, sundowners with sumptuous views of the city, food, ballet performances, a food and craft beer pairing at Restaurant Lamunu in The Grove, Braamfontein plus the incredibly successful Critical Mass cycle through the city (it happens on the last Friday of each month and attracts thousands of people). And added to that is the Mail & Guardian’s Literary Festival from August 30 to September 1, featuring a star-cast of Nobel prize-winner Nadine Gordimer, award-winning novelists Niq Mhlongo, Imraan Coovadia plus Booker short-listed author NoViolet Bulawayo. The full lineup of the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival.
This was really an unforgettable performance. As part of the #JoburgCity media weekend the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra popped up outside the Rand Club and then in front of the Gold Mine Cafe at The Reef Hotel (Anderson Street, Marshalltown). Love this video posted by @Darlinglama
If you missed it you can read more about the weekend at Joburg gets an inner city festival
This one is not to be missed. I spotted the poster about two weeks ago in the city, and it made me curious. The International Exhibition of Black Music is on at Museum Africa – part of the France South Africa Seasons 2012/13 that has brought myriad diverse cultural events to the city over the past few weeks, including Molière’s “L’Avare” (The Miser) at the Market Theatre, Reacting to Chemistry exhibition at Sci-Bono, and French Connections – an exhibition of French works in the Johannesburg Art Gallery collection.
Absolutely loving the reminder and remix (not so sure about that club version) of Miriam Makeba’s Pata Pata by Milk & Sugar “Hi-a ma”. A beautiful day in Joburg – sun shining, sky is blue – and it’s a good way to keep your mind off today’s news which includes the passing of the visionary Steve Jobs, a sad Desmond Tutu whose 80th birthday party has been spoiled by the government’s flawed and ugly decision to not permit the Dalai Lama into the country and the bizarre revelations in this morning’s The Times about in cash-in-transit-heist money finding its way into ANC branch politics. Strange days indeed.
Or just a sneaky preview before U2 plays at FNB Stadium, in Soweto, this weekend. This after catching U2 360 in Moscow a few months ago. Not sure if Bono feels the same way but it seems as if our eventual meeting is meant to be. So far paths have been crossed and all manner of coincidences have revealed themselves. It started on day one in Moscow. Fresh from the airport we left our hotel for a walk up one of Moscow’s busiest thoroughfares, Tverskaya Boulevard, on which our hotel was located next door to the Ritz Carlton. There we encountered a crowd waiting patiently on the forecourt. Curious, we asked some questions and soon had word from a wild-eyed Irishman that U2 had arrived in Moscow for a concert that week (he had been following them for months). We hung around for a bit joining the papparazzos and felt the excitement ripple through the crowd as a car pulled up. The crowd lurched forward, necks craning, cameras ready. The Irishman was unimpressed. Looking above the crowd at what was causing such a stir he snorted: “It’s only Adam”. Continue reading
#207 Enjoy this moment – In true Jozi style flags fly proudly off electric fences, the sound of vuvuzelas (singly, that of a wounded bull elephant, in large groups – more like angry hornets) rings out wherever you are – from Melrose Arch to Braamfontein, Sandton to the Soweto no matter what time of day. Fashion trends hold no sway as most people are intent on showing their team colours. I have succumbed. This city is yellow and green, in love with this time, this place, and this nation. Continue reading
#190. Head for the bright spot on Louis Botha avenue where Manny has been holding fort through the neighbourhood’s best and worst of times at The Radium Beerhall. If memory serves me it was often with a baseball bat. Not in evidence on Saturday night but still there’s no doubt he has it stashed somewhere. Continue reading
#180. Get hooked on Afrikaans bad boy rapper Jack Parow and watch endless repeats of his “Cooler as Ekke”, an anthem that cuts to the heart of what it feels like when someone thinks they are cooler than you. Jack Parow is the voice of everyman against people called Chaz who have great hair and can wear pink button down shirts and loafers with no socks. Okay it’s broader than that. Jack Parow is the voice of anyone who comes from the East Rand.
#171. Admire the angel and say that if any place needs one it’s Hillbrow.
Perched up high between Constitution Hill and one of Joburg’s most talked about suburbs the angel is one of a number of public artworks that have sprung up around the inner city. Part of the city of Johannesburg’s public art policy, officials have been hard at work commissioning artists to create pieces that are redefining the city as an inclusive space.
As for Hillbrow, it’s a place that conjures nostalgic, that calls up myths and legends. From the post-1994 hard drug scene that sprang up around the Sands Hotel to the playground of SA’s original party girl Brenda Fassie, Hillbrow was also home to my grandmother and a great-aunt (a lot earlier than that) who lived in the Coronia residential hotel in the late 1970’s (Now it’s a disco, but not for Lola …). Tropicana or was it Tropica sold the best schwarmas in town (It was the wrap) while Estoril had the monopoly on Italian fashion magazines. At Café Paris the men smoked and played backgammon and in the late 80’s Fontana would sell you roast chicken no matter the hour. Hillbrow was the height of cool. All bright lights and big-city like. Continue reading
#168. Enjoy the Ras Dumisani saga. This is the man who cried sabotage after he was accused of “butchering” the national anthem in the lead-up to the Springboks vs. the French in Toulouse earlier this month. Some went so far as to call it “treason”.
Dumisani, who claims to be an experienced reggae artist, had this to say in response: Continue reading