I’m often asked the question what it is that makes me love this city called Johannesburg, Joburg, Jozi, Egoli etc. so very much? The answer comes rather easily – it makes me feel alive. Going through many emotions such as happiness, sadness, joy, anger, surprise, fear, anticipation, regret, contempt, love, et al. makes me feel alive. It gives me direction, an aim, a mission, a plan. enthusiasm to find a solution even if it’s just for me. Joburg stirs up all these emotions in me. I see that skyline as I head back into town after a trip and my heart melts – the iconic Ponte City and Hillbrow tower give me that “I’m at home” feeling.
I need a certain amount of chaos in my life and Joburg gives this to me, with it’s diversity of different cultures. You can go to Fordsburg and feel as though you are in India or Pakistan, Mayfair to feel as if you are in Somalia. Go to Cyrildene and feel as though you are in China or Taiwan and when you visit Yeoville you could be anywhere in Northern Africa. In central Joburg, visit Jeppe street to experience a bit of Ethiopia or Diagonal street to experience muti shops if you are not to keen on visiting the Mai Mai market. There is just so much to see and experience in this city which is also forever changing, it makes me wonder how anyone can say there is nothing to do here.
Green Spaces and public swimming pools, nature parks with really good hiking trails right here in the city, jacarandas in October all over my suburb and the rest of Joburg, cosmos flowers at Delta Park in April – so who needs a mountain and the sea.
Graffiti festivals attracting international graffiti artists, art hubs such as the Bag Factory, Victoria Yards and August house, the architecture both old and new, the history of the city. My list could go on and on.
Most of all it’s the people who make up this wonderful city; besides all the negative stuff you read and hear about, they are friendly, helpful and a whole lot of fun. Speak to any tourist and they will agree with this.
Jozi has a way of creeping under your skin, for she can at times not be the nicest city to live in but charms you into forgiving her. Someone once summed her up to be rough, parties hard but is someone you want to hang out with because she is so exciting. Besides all this it is where my home is.