As much as I love Joburg, when that first bite of winter makes itself felt (temperatures drop below 18 degrees C) I am ready for migration. And so we set off for a short pre-winter break. While freeway management aimed at reducing the high rate of road accidents seems to have made the trip longer and longer (with a few too many maximum-speed-of-80km zones) Durban is still a pleasant 550km+ drive away. Beach, mostly blue sky, warm April weather and the best curries in the land are only a few reasons to head for the car. Here’s a longer list… 1. Marco Cianfanelli’s ‘Capture’. About 86km outside of Durban at Howick, marking the spot where Nelson Mandela was captured in 1962 after having been on the run from the police. Cianfanellis’ remarkable sculpture sits along the roadside, a series of steel columns that when viewed from a particular angle merge to form the face of Mandela. There is a small museum that takes you through the life history of Mandela and the struggle against apartheid.
In a week in which the country and the world has held its breath while Nelson Mandela fights a lung infection in a Pretoria hospital, he stands tall and powerful on an inner city block. Nelson Mandela as a public figure is returned to Johannesburg, and specifically to the places he inhabited in the 1950s. Marco Cianfanelli’s newly unveiled sculpture of Mandela, “Shadowing Boxing” towers above Fox Street, Ferreirasdorp. Placed between Chancellor House and the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court this must have been a path that a young Mandela walked many times. Continue reading
The first Joburg Winter Sculpture Fair, was held at Nirox in the Cradle of Humankind on the weekend of May 4-5. A two-day Fair organised by Artlogic, the makers of the Joburg Art Fair and Food Wine Design, it was a supreme event. Perfect winter sunshine, winemakers and chefs imported from Franschhoek and a really superb sculpture exhibition in the extraordinary landscape that is Nirox.
“This is Mr Matthews your train driver. Sit back and relax. The weather is sunny, the ride is sweet and everything is Ayyyyyyobbbbba (Drawn-out World Cup speak for “just great”).”
I am a fan of the Gautrain #justsaying. In fact I am a fan of any mode of transport that doesn’t involve surgical gloves, hard stares and taking your shoes off. That’s any mode of transport that doesn’t presuppose I am a mad bomber hellbent on the world’s destruction. I’m more like a one-person economic recovery plan, committed to single-handedly rescuing cities from the economic downturn by spending some hard-earned cashola.
#29. Take a trip into Newtown to see the “new” Turbine Hall. In the mid-1990s I used to walk from the Sunday Times’ offices in the Diamond Building in Diagonal Street, to the West Street Parking Arcade. Diagonal Street was a blur of noise and colour, shweshwe fabrics and leopard print blankets, Converse high tops and dried monkey skins at the muti shop, with traders hanging out on the street outside their stores.
By contrast the Turbine Hall, Joburg’s first power station, dating back to 1927, stood derelict Continue reading