If you’re looking for something bright, fun and colourful this weekend, make your way to Jeppestown. Artists, both South African and foreign, have been painting the walls for the past week, huge delicious graffiti, as part of the City of Gold Urban Art Festival.
If you don’t know Jeppestown it is just east of Maboneng and close to Braamfontein, both just a ten minute drive from our Johannesburg Guesthouses. It’s probably easiest to do a walking tour as the guides know where all the gems are, and both Past Experiences and Main Street Walks offer scheduled group tours.
Graffiti is usually illicit – people draw, spray or write on walls in public spaces – without permission. This graffiti is definitely not illicit! It is part of an upliftment programme, attempting to activate and enhance sites in the Johannesburg CBD that have either been feared or forgotten by the city’s inhabitants.
It also also about brightening up the poorer areas, getting the community involved in the painting and the creating of fun and safer spaces. The project is organised by Bjala, a social development organisation focusing on housing, eduction, job creation, art and community.
They’ve done an amazing job. Ask your Guesthouse owner for directions. I know that Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse has done one of these graffiti tours and knows her street art well. She recommends them highly. Take water, your walking shoes and your camera. Have fun.
If you’re looking for a tour:-