Author: Fatma Sultan

Hello, I'm Fatma Sultan. Architecture is my chosen career path. My love and appreciation for art is larger than I can put in a few words but it all comes down to the freedom to express oneself in so many different ways: painting, sketching, drawing, poetry, writing, photography, furniture design, cooking, pottery and even personal style. I hope to inspire my readers in any way that I can, and at least put a smile on somebody's face. Thanks for stopping by!

Freedom Park, //hapo Museum

Location: Freedom Park, //hapo Museum.

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“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

I recently took a trip to Freedom Park, //hapo Museum in Pretoria which is about an hour drive away from Sandton, Johannesburg. The architecture of the place is nothing short of genius – every single corner had a character of its own expressing itself in materials and landscaping. Such designs reignite my passion for architecture, it all feels so fluid and.. perfect, just as nature is.

I mean, I visited the Museum and it inspired me to add sketches to this post! To me, this is enough evidence of why it’s so important to feed your mind and soul with experiences that move you to be a better version of yourself.

And what better way to enrich your mind and soul by learning about your history as an African?

The stories I read on the displays inside the museum were phenomenal to say the least. With objects collected from ancient times and distant lands all over the African continent, the realization that history was a few feet from my grasp left me with goose pimples the whole time I was inside. I picked up a few interesting facts about African history, from Ancient Ghana, Timbuktu/ Mali to Egypt when it was known as Nubia. And most of all, the struggle for freedom in South Africa has left me humbled. Spaces like these are so important as they remind us of our history, and make us realize how important it is to always treat each other with love and dignity.

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Also, am I not killing these photos?! I’ve never experimented as much with black and white photography until this post.

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Once I was done with the displays inside the museum, a walk around the grounds revealed gorgeous vistas of Pretoria. The building is just as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.

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I posted on my Insta stories that this is the best museum I’ve been to so far. It’s not just about the physical space but the stories the building carried inside it, I think it’s a must visit for anyone traveling to Pretoria.

Hennops Hiking Trail

“It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable”.

Socrates

 

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Day 244/ 365.

September is already here which leaves me reflecting on how far I’ve come in 2018, doesn’t time fly by so fast?

This past Sunday, I took the afternoon off to go hiking at Hennops Hiking Trails. I must say, it’s exactly the thing I needed. Some time away from the busy city to just immerse myself in the silence of the great outdoors.

 

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I packed some sandwiches, juice boxes, tangerines and a kikoy as I hoped to find a nice picnic spot, and I did. Right by the river, after crossing the bridge.

 

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Entrance charges are R 70 per adult, paid in cash.

If you’re planning a trip here, it’s quite scenic and family friendly so packing a picnic is a great idea. And oh, make sure to pack enough drinking water.

Location: Hennops Hiking Trail.

Other than having several hiking trails, Hennops also offers accommodation and camping options, check out their website here.

Exploring Maboneng.

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Location: Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg. South Africa.

Maboneng has been on my travel wish list for a long time now. It reminds me a little of the creative artistic vibe I got at Block 338 when I travelled to Bahrain last year, only rich in African art and culture so thick you can feel it in the air. Around the corners you’d find bands of musicians performing reggae and soul compositions. Amidst all this, the streets are filled with colour as artists sell their wares in temporary stalls, similar to Maasai Market in Nairobi. No comparisons, it’s just the best way to describe the vibe.

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I bought two malachite bangles from a lady selling little bibs and bobs, souvenirs and beaded jewellery. These added a flair to my look in the ‘photoshoot’ that followed shortly. I posted one of these photos on Instagram and the love I’ve received from you all was amazing, some even sharing that I look more confident, which I feel I’ve consciously been working on. I’m trying not to brood on mistakes but realize that it’s normal and integral for growth, and remind myself to instead focus on continuous self improvement one day at a time.

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I tipped this old man and his band so he sang a few lines dedicated to me which was kinda cool.

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The rich smell of coffee is too tempting to ignore so I satisfied my cravings at Little Addis Cafe, an Ethiopian restaurant with authentic cuisine that also serves Ethiopian coffee, which is one of the best coffees in the world for its unique roast, flavour and brewing style. Here, they served it in a wooden pot with teeny white coffee cups I’ve also seen in Swahili households, and pop corn on the side for only R40, equivalent to about 4$. Coffee and pop corn go surprisingly well, if you’re wondering.

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A short walk around the precinct reveals more gems to explore next time, like Soul Souvlaki, pictured below, and others like Pata Pata and Uncle Merv’s.

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The architectural character is quite intriguing, with a mix of classical old buildings to contemporary lofts and container apartments. Fascinating. Maboneng is the kind of place for creatives, I left feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week.

On a random note, in 2017 I’d always keep track of what day of the year it is, like today, Wednesday 15th August 2018 is day 226/ 365. Keeping track of the days like this always feels encouraging, like I have 139 days in the year to do more meaningful things. And then somehow I feel accountable and just want to fill my life with more life changing experiences, travel and beauty in all shapes and forms.

I could say an afternoon in Maboneng is good for the soul and spirit.

Useful links to check out when planning a visit to Maboneng:

I rely heavily on Google Maps when I’m new to a place. It not only is for navigation, but also when searching for local attractions and great places to eat. The links below may also be great for your reference.

www.gauteng.net 

www.mabonengprecinct.com