As you read this blog you also need to log onto Facebook and go straight to the Jozi Walks Facebook page page. There are a whole lot of FREE walking tours coming up over the weekend of 24 and 25 June. They’re all fantastic and popular so booking is essential, which means go and book your space right now! You can book on Facebook or with the email address provided below.
The walks are an initiative between The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and Jozi Walks, and they’re all about community spirit and celebrating and sharing heritage, art, visual expression, lifestyle, music, food and public spaces.
Saturday, June 24
Sophiatown, 11 am to 1 pm.
Meeting point: 73 Toby Street, Sophiatown
Highlights include a walk through the birthplace of South African jazz, the home of Dr Alfred Bitini Xuma, first president of the ANC, Christ the King Church the resting place of Father Trevor Huddleston, homes of residents who were victims of the forced removals, a whole lot of history and culture, a bit of art, some music and some poetry too! I have done this walk with Sophiatown the Mix and it is beyond fabulous!
La Rochelle, 10 am to 3 pm
Meeting point: Portuguese Evangelical Church, 37 2nd St, La Rochelle
Highlights include a former jail, Parreirinha, now a popular Portuguese restaurant, a visit to the African fruit and veg market at Diaz Mall, stops at old historic wood and corrugated homes and shops dating back to the 1900s and a walk along multicultural Johannesburg Road, lined with shops, bakeries, restaurants, churches and bars. End off with an African Portuguese food tasting with the most delicious dishes. I am dying to do this walk!
Berea/Hillbrow, 11 am to 4.30 pm
Meeting point: Windybrow Centre for The Arts, Corner Nugget & Pietersen Streets
This tour is specifically for youth, ages 15 to 25, from Diepsloot, Alex, Jeppestown and Hillbrow. Email the organisers below as there are free shuttles from each neighbourhood to the Windybrow Arts Centre.
Highlights include a tour of Windybrow Arts Centre, a bit of rap, poetry or song, a divine Pan-African lunch with Exotically Divine Ital, a whole lot of conversation about youth, youth centres, arts and safe spaces in the city to meet up.
Diepsloot, 11 am to 4 pm
Meeting point: 7184 Peach Road, Diepsloot. The Wot-If? Trust
This tour is mostly by taxi with some walking and several stops. Highlights will include the Muzomuhle Primary School with its astonishing public artworks and sculptures, the Diepsloot police station, Wassup Diepsloot (Water, Amenities, Sanitation Services, Upgrading Program) and an open-air film screening of new footage of Diepsloot produced by Black Bite Productions. Sounds exciting and fascinating!
Alexandra, 1 pm to 4 pm.
Meeting Point: Alex Theatre, Yarona Mall, 89 2nd Avenue, Wynberg
The tour is conducted by Khahvo Travel and Tours. Highlights will include the Alex Theatre, the Alexandra’s Women’s hostel, The Thusong Youth Centre, Mandela’s Yard, the Alexandra Heritage Centre and a walk through the suburbs getting to grips with local life. I have walked through Alex and it is brilliant!
Newtown, 16.45 to 17.30
Meeting point: Museum Africa, 12 Lilian Ngoyi St (facing Mary Fitzgerald Square), Newtown
This tour is led by well known guide Anthea Moys. Highlights will include a bit of dance in Mary Fitzgerald Square led by Theresa Phuti Mojele, some graffiti with specialist artists Talking Vandal, a whole lot of wandering and walking, a bit more dance at Tony’s Night Club, dancing, laughing and even a few surprise flowers. Brilliant tour guide, lots of fun!
Sunday, June 25
Brixton and Fietas, 10 am to 3 pm
Meeting point: 125 Caroline Street, Brixton. The Roving Bantu Kitchen
Start off at the Roving Bantu Kitchen with its amazing artworks and decor. Highlights will then include Kingston Frost Park, a walk through the fascinating suburb of Fietas, once a very poor white area and now a very poor multi-cultural area, the Dutch Reformed Church and Fietas Museum and the Braamfontein Cemetery. Amazing walking, great tour guide Sifiso Ntuli, and a most fabulous lunch!
(already full but try anyway, there may be cancellations)
Noordgesig, Soweto, 10 am to 1 pm
Meeting point: Noordgesis Rea Vaya, Cnr Mooki St & Soweto Highway
Jacques Stoltz from Place Matters is your tour guide through Noordgesig, one of SA’s olds so called coloured townships. Highlights will include the home of cricketer Frank Roro, homes of prominent political activists Rose Jardine and Sister Jeanie Greaver, the site of the Griqua/Griekwa Church, Cestrum Street and a visit to the home of Jake Tuli, professional SA boxer. Lunch and time with the Tuli family before heading home. A brilliant tour and fascinating indeed.
Hillbrow and Berea, 11 am to 2 pm.
Meeting point: Ponte City Apartments, entrance off Joe Slovo Rd. Dlala Nje
Highlights will include the community centre at Ponte, the flats of Ponte with a trip to the top for a view, another trip to the bottom to see where movies have been made, a walk through Berea, the iconic Telkom tower, churches, local schools and parks as well as the colourful and vibrant Hillbrow fruit and veg market. Fascinating tour with brilliant photographic opportunities. Liz Delmont from Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse, has done this tour and says it is amazing!
(already full but try anyway, there may be cancellations)
Orlando East, Soweto, 12 pm to 3 pm
Meeting point: Orlando Stadium, Corner Martha Louw St and Mooki St, Orlando, Soweto
Tshenolo Mokhele of the James Mpanza Legacy Foundation leads this tour. Highlights will include the Orlando Stadium, Orlando High School, Orlando Community Hall and the Donaldson Community Centre where Nelson Mandela boxed, historic Mooki Street with eight different heritage sights, ending off at the home of the Father of Soweto, James Sofasonke Mpanza. Amazingly interesting touring, I wish I could do this one.
Alexandra,12 pm to 3 pm. Joe’s Butchery
Meeting point: Corner 11th Ave and Alfred Nzo St , Alexandra
William Mathebula of Joe’s Lifestyle & Butchery is your tour guide. Walk through the streets of old Alex, once home to Nelson Mandela, Samora Machel and Hugh Masekela. Trace the old street plans of Alex, see the many historic houses as well as the shanty side of the town, markets, schools and general life in Alex. End off back at the butchery where you can choose your meat and enjoy a braai. This will be brilliant!
Orchards, Maryvale, Sydenham and Orange Grove, 1 pm to 4 pm.
Meeting point: The Orchards Project, 6 Pine Road, Norwood
The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation are leading this walk. Highlights will include a walk through the eastern suburbs of Orchards, Maryvale, Sydenham and Orange Grove, on to the Louis Botha ‘Corridor of Creativity.’ See the Pine Road Synagogues, Satyagraha House, the Maryvale Mineral Water Works and the amazing Kalahari Books. End off with an Urban Art Experience with Roger Chadwick which may well be the most fun you’ve had in ages! (Note this tour is also full but email anyway, you may get a cancellation.)
Yeoville, 1 am to 4 pm.
Meeting point: Rockey Street, Yeoville Market, Yeoville
Sanza Sandile is your guide from the Yeoville Dinner Club. Enjoy a culinary walk through the pan-African suburb of Yeoville. Highlights include the colourful fruit and veg market corner Cavendish and Rockey Streets where you can meet vendors, learn about new tastes and flavours and make a few purchases. Enjoy a late lunch on a Yeoville Rooftop with a fabulous Rockey Street View. End off with Ethiopian coffee and a little more walking. This tour is colourful and brilliant as well as being exceptionally tasty!
And look out for some of our Johannesburg Guesthouse owners on these tours as we have some avid walkers in our group. Also, check out our Facebook page at the same time.
If you can’t go on the tour you want, remember you can always book on a scheduled tour for another weekend. Happy walking and have fun!