Archive | On the ground

‘But me, I’m a man, not a lady’

Flashy “on sale”‘ signs don’t seem enough to attract customers anymore. The Smal Street Mall has been turned into a stage: loud music, interactive shop windows and live performances make up the scenario. Some shops are not afraid to “cross-dress the line” to increase sales. Natália Ribeiro shares some behind the scenes shots from Anton Mashaya, […]

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Johannesburg’s two Chinatowns

A visual journey between the city’s old and new Chinatowns.

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How to shop in the CBD

How to shop in the CBD

The rules of engagement on the city streets are different. Shopping is, let’s say, different from the suburban malls. Loud music blares through speakers and the customer is not always right.  Bargains are easy to find but you have to be street smart. Jozi  CBD resident and self-proclaimed fashionista, Yolanda Matikinca, takes us on a […]

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A spiritual herb

Khat, the mild hallucinogen favoured by many on the African continent, is mainly used for social purposes. But for some, this plant is part of religious rituals. Ancient Egyptians thought of it as a heavenly food and some Muslim sects chew it during prayer. Aslam, a South African Muslim of the Sufi sect, uses khat […]

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Sitting pretty on Pritchard

Before Johannesburg’s malls and shopping centres were built outside the central business district (CBD), the city’s elite converged in downtown Johannesburg for shopping and business. “Going to town was a pleasurable outing and you had to look good,” recalls 86-year-old Margot Richards. She remembers heading to town as a teenage girl with her mother in […]

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The 24-carat dream

The city of gold has not lost its Midas touch. Cash-for-gold shops are flourishing all over Johannesburg’s CBD. Natália Ribeiro investigates the reasons behind the recent gold rush.   Security guards, bars on the front door and 24-hour camera surveillance: the Paymaster gold shop on Commissioner Street looks like a bank. Customers, mostly male in their late […]

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Fields of dreams

Immigrants entering into South Africa dont only bring their dreams of a better future over the borders, but also their culture and rituals. Hasina discovers a mysterious herb, Khat, that has set its root in the country. On the verge of Bird Street in Mayfair, Shukriyah sits with some other Somali women on a plastic […]

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Bricks, mortar and hope

It is 2pm. School is finished. The kids who live in the building walk through the double doors at the entrance of the shelter, hugging an old man around the knees. “Sawubona mkhulu,” they greet in unison. The man is wearing blue overalls with “City Power” embroidered on the back and chest, white boots and […]

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A golden city in the city of gold

Known for its special crispy skin chicken, steamed pork ribs, seafood, duck and egg rice, Golden City Chinese Restaurant used to be the dining place. It was situated at the western end of Commissioner Street, which has a rich history of Chinese businesses. Chinese grocery shops, club houses, schools, music groups and even a Chinese […]

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