Words: Lucille Davie, Author, Journalist and Joburg Tour Guide Images: Wikimedia
In between the new chrome, estate living, loud billboards, malls, dreary industry and the highways and byways of Johannesburg lies the old – a curious treasure trove of local history – if you know where to look. Journalist, teacher, Joburg tour guide and heritage fundi, Lucille Davie, has researched Joburg’s history and heritage, writing for more than 12 years, for the Joburg City website.
SOPHIATOWN’S FALL AND RISE
Writer, poet and political activist,Don Mattera, grew up in Sophiatown, where he experienced the brutality of apartheid first hand. His family was one of the last to be forcefully removed from the cosmopolitan suburb in the 1960s. Sophiatown shaped Don, but also blues singer, Dolly Rathebe, past ANC president and gynaecologist, Dr AB Xuma, who lived there for 30 years, and Anglican priest and anti-apartheid activist, Trevor Huddleston. Here you can see the buildings that escaped the bulldozers, hear the music of the 50s, and the eloquent words of Don Mattera and others. Lucille ends the tour with deliciously crafted cuisine at the Roving Bantu Kitchen in nearby Brixton.
GANDHI FINDS HIMSELF
Mahatma Gandhi left his mighty footprint in Jozi, the town he lived in for a good deal of his 21 years in South Africa, until his return to India in 1914. He walked the dusty streets of the town, practised as a lawyer in Joburg, was incarcerated in the Fort prison, and developed his philosophy of Satyagraha or passive resistance here. The city remembers this great man in Gandhi Square, where a sculpture of him reminds us that he practised as an attorney in the city. Lucille takes visitors on a stroll through some of the places in Jozi he made his own for a short while and the meander ends with a delicious vegetarian meal at Satyagraha House.