Cultural Encounters

A typical day looks a little bit like this ...

Meet at a trendy coffee shop in District Six to sample our best baristas and a croissant for a rumbly tum.  We visit the District Six Commemorative Museum where you are given an insight into the effects of the ideology of apartheid, and more particularly the Group Areas Act. This gives an important perspective as to why and how townships exist.

We move on to Langa, the oldest township in Cape Town where we learn more about the impact of forced removals, influx control, the Pass Laws and Migrant Labour, and how these laws had an impact on the daily lives of the majority of marginalised South Africans. We are met by Zamile Hlehle, local guide and loved by many. Together we engage with inspiring and interesting locals who are involved in various projects which make a difference to the lives of their community. We enjoy a traditional and utterly delicious and moreish buffet lunch at Mzansi Restaurant with my dear friend Nomonde Siyake and her family of musicians who create Marimba magic, together with Mzwanele a veteran jazz saxophonist. If any of you remember Miriam Makeba, our Mama Africa, this is your chance to dance the ‘pata pata’ with gusto and to leave feeling uplifted and spirited in heart.

Next stop Woodstock, a suburb quasi industrial and residential. The ‘new kid on the block’ in terms of young creatives. First stop is at Sorbetiere for a tasting of artisanal sorbets and ice cream. If time permits, a visit to Woodstock Exchange and later The Biscuit Mill Complex where the famous Saturday Neighbourhood Market takes place and were we find the highest rated restaurant in South Africa : ‘The Test Kitchen’.

The Bo Kaap, the oldest residential area in South Africa, and renowned for its ad infinitum photographed brightly painted houses with the iconic Table Mountain in the background, is steeped in Cape Town’s history. If you would like to learn more about slavery, colonial rule, Cape Malay (traditional cooking), Islam at the Cape, and experience the assonance and dissonance that holds this community so close to the residents’ hearts.