Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Great happenings around Jozi!

Just a quick post about some special people, places and programmes happening in Johannesburg. I have seen some great stuff on my travels about town recently and just thought I should share these with as many people as possible

Firstly just a big shout out to the Carlton Centre "Top of Africa" and their staff. The "Top of Africa" is the 50th floor viewing deck of the infamous Carlton Centre in downtown Johannesburg. The view is unbeatable and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who lives in Jozi or is visiting our fair city. They also have such awesome and caring staff- the ticket sellers, security staff and cleaning ladies. Everyone is great and they have been so helpful over the World Cup period that I really can’t thank them enough.

The Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) is, as always looking fantastic. This gallery is special for so many reasons. They play a large role in the surrounding community and the gallery is always full of local kids drawing and just generally having a great time. If only more museums and art gallery's could have an open door policy to their community. The gallery staff is also fantastic- they are sooo welcoming when you enter the gallery, they know a lot about what’s on show and are just generally great. And finally the JAG is fantastic because their exhibits are always changing. At the moment their is some unmissable stuff on show- William Kentridges "I am not me, the horse is not mine", "Borders-Bamako Photographic Biennale" and "Without masks- a collection of Afro-Cuban art". If you have some spare time over the weekend..go and check it out!

I took a tour at the Apartheid Museum last week and was luck enough to take a look at the Nelson Mandela Exhibit that is on at the moment. It really is absolutely fantastic. Its all about Mandela from his birth, growing up, his life in Joburg, his family and so much more. The video footage of him is also fantastic! I can’t wait to go back and take another look. The book shop and restaurant are also looking great and it would be great way to spend a weekend afternoon.

I also thought I would talk about a great initiative/ programme (brought to Joburg by Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela)that is taking place in the inner city called City Year. It is a great national youth service programme that engages youth in a year of voluntary service and leadership development. Basically school leavers, become involved for a year on a voluntary basis facilitating after school programmes. They wear a very specific uniform (khaki pants and red jacket) that makes their presence in the city felt. I see them nearly every time I am in the city. It is great for the youth involved but also for city rejuvenation. Well-done to the "City Year" participants and organisers.

This is a generalisation but generally people living in Joburg are really friendly..is it the weather? Anyway often when I take international visitors around the city, we have a great random meeting with awesome and friendly locals. It always makes me proud to be from the city of gold. I met some great people in Newtown at the Brenda Fassie statue/ public art yesterday. They were posing with Brenda's statue and so we ended up taking pics of them and joining them in some photo's. I told them I would put them in the blog so a big shout out to BOOM2WIN and Sis FAITH!

So until next time...go explore and have fun in Joburg!