Brixton lies to the west of the CBD surrounded by Auckland Park and Crosby. It is named after the London suburb Brixton and many of the streets are named after districts of London. It originally formed part of the farm Braamfontein until it was surveyed out in 1902.
What stands out most for all of us is the Sentech tower, fondly known as the ‘Brixton Tower‘, which was built in 1962 to be used for broadcasting radio and television. I remember going up there when the viewing deck was first opened to the public and receiving a small replica of the tower, which I still have. There has been rumour of the tower reopening to the public however, we will have to wait and see.
My first official visit to Brixton, after many years, was to Kingston Frost Park when the community put on a market day event about three years ago – we were made to feel so at home and had a great afternoon. You just need to read the Brixton community page on facebook to realise how committed they are to creating and maintaining a good community spirit.
A absolute ‘must do’ in Brixton is to join one of Sifiso’s Heritage Treks through Brixton and Fietas. Sifiso, (along with his wife) owner of the Roving Bantu Kitchen, holds nothing back on the past, present and future of these areas and the country during his tours. The Trek, as it’s fondly called, ends back at the Roving Bantu Kitchen for an authentic afro soul food experience. My highlight walking experience of 2017 has to be this. The Heritage Treks are once a month on the first Sunday, for more information on this and what The Roving Bantu has to offer check out https://rovingbantu.co.za
Myself and a few friends are working on the #20laps Project, where we hope to visit each and every public swimming pool in the Johannesburg area. This last summer we managed to visit the Brixton Public Swimming pool and I can’t wait to go back to see what refurbishments have been done as this was all still at planning stage when we were there – another reason to take me back, besides the friendly people we met around the pool.
Just recently I spent a great morning with Dan Zack who owns the Instrument Library in Caroline Street. The Instrument Library stocks a large range of primarily orchestral type instruments which are rented out to the public – Dan also does repairs to these types of instruments. (For those that know Tanya Zack of the “Wake up this is Joburg” series of books, which she produces along with Mark Lewis, this is her Dad and what a proud Dad he is.) For more information on the Instruments Library http://www.instrumentlibrary.co.za
The Brixton Cemetery is steeped in Johannesburg history, with early Randlords, architects, 1922 strike victims and many more who moulded the beginnings of this city all being interred here.
The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation also conducts tours of Brixton and of the Brixton Cemetery, both well worth attending. http://www.joburgheritage.org.za/events.