Tag: Places to visit in South Africa

Market on Main

Maboneng, it’s always a pleasure. You’ve never let me down.

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A few Sundays ago, my friend Idil and I sauntered over to Market on Main, a dream vibey space in the heart of Maboneng.

We’d started the day off a little bummed out that we couldn’t go to the Neighbourgoods Market as we wished to, turned out it only opens on Saturday. The idea was to head over to Maboneng as we figured out our next move, only to walk along the art-filled streets, from jewellery and clothing to live dance and vocal performances, drawing us to Market on Main, which – get this – opens only on Sundays.

What great luck.

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The pursuit of beautiful photos can often lead to awkward social situations – I’ve had to learn how to pose quick-fast and know what my best angles are.

One such awkward social situation at first, later turned out to be a lovely encounter. I was busy posing and shooting photos at a cute little shop’s stoop when the owner, Mary, walked up to me, perhaps intrigued or most probably concerned about this girl making strange movements at her shop entrance. We ended up chatting and when asked where I was from, I proudly responded in my best Nairobian accent. “Me I’m from Nairobi, Kenya”. “Wacha! (Stop!) Ata mimi pia ni mKenya!”

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If you pass by Market on Main, drop by Mary’s store HelloAfrica. It’s so wonderful to run into someone from home you can connect with. A few Swahili words here and there can be the little boost your day needs. Also, you’re sure to find something cute or quirky that will tickle your fancy.

Reclaimed lofts characterized by the rustic unfinished decor, give off an old school hippie vibe. Coupled with different kinds of people, products on display, sounds and smells, the Market is a great Sunday plan.

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You get to see unique views of Maboneng from fire escape staircases and balconies upstairs, and appreciate its regeneration as an urban space.

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Location: Arts on Main, Maboneng.

Open on Sundays from 10 am – 3 pm.

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