A Tourist In My Own City

A few weeks back, to celebrate one of my best friends birthdays we got a little’ bit cultural and took part in 2 brilliant excursions – right here in good old Jozi town.

The first was a ‘Coffee Appreciation’ evening in Braamfontein. Coffee, check. Appreciation of coffee, check check. It was held at DoubleShot Coffee & Tea on Juta Street and I found the whole evening to be really fascinating. It started off with our coffee master taking us through the hisroty of coffee, the difference between coffees as well as how coffee is traded and valued. It ended off with several tasters and tests. I felt a right ponce swilling the black liquid under my nose, murmuring phrases like “ah yes, very wheaty old boy” and “The molasses is strong in this one squire”.

We left the event buzzing, and buzzed well into the night…. needless to say at 4 am we were still wide awake. Note to self kids, always appreciate coffee in the morning, your sleep patterns will thank you for it.

One of these is decaf. Clearly not the one I chose. 

Coffee Appreciation in Braamfontein

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Apparently roasted coffee beans don’t just happen. In raw form they look like pistachios, and taste like arse.


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Oh yes, they also sell tea. 

 

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Several weeks back a few of us ran the Soweto Energizer Night Race. As we pounded the pavements of Vilakazi street we fell in love with the look of a restaurant we ran by – Thrive Cafe – and decided to have a lunch there another time, as part deux of Lauren’s birthday celebrations.

The food was simple but tasty and the wine was flowing – the highlight for me was the friendliness of all the staff, and their eagerness to please. I also bought a really funky Madiba print done by a 12 year old boy – which I just love.

 

 

 

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After lunch we walked off our full bellies and explored the area – and ended up in the dodgiest shebeen called “The Shack”. Here we drank quartz and danced to local music. As you do.

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I heart Jozi.

 

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It Was a Beer Drinking, Night Racing, Art Viewing, Wine Tasting, Fromage Gubbling, Soweto Viewing Kinda Weekend

I don’t often write about my weekend or what went down – but this was such an interesting one that I wanted to share. 

You may remember me giving away tickets to the Energizer Soweto Night race a few weeks back. Well, the event took place on Saturday and I’m so glad we braved the cold and distance to attend.

We took part in the 10 km ‘trail’ race – and although it started off really slowly due to the dark, the cold, the crowds and the extreme bottle necking – it was one of the best races I have ever taken part in. We decided from the start that we were going to take it super easy and just enjoy the sights and sounds – and I’m so glad we did. (It’s also the first race I’ve done where I had beers before the race…highly recommended!)

Soweto has a vibe like non other, and for the full 10kms we were surrounded by cheering fans, high-fiving kids, impromptu directional singers, smells, sights and sounds. A highlight for me was running next to Bruce Fordyce for several minutes, joking about how this would be the slowest race we had ever done. 

For anyone who has ever trail ran (runned? ron?) you will know how it’s courtesy of the person infront to signal and point if there’s an upcoming obstruction – such as “rock”, “ditch” “water”. You get the vibe right? Let me tell you, running through the dark streets of Soweto means the obstructions are somewhat different. Just a few I heard, and called out, were: “Pothole”, “Taxi”, “Dog”…”Toilet”. Only in Africa!

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On Sunday, to celebrate Mother’s Day and my Dad’s 60th we went to the Nirox Art and Wine Fair. Nirox has got to be one of my favourite places, and Nirox plus art plus wine is easily a winning combination.

My cousin Olivia is out visiting from The States on her FOUR MONTH Summer vay-cay, and she (along with Aunts, Uncles, friends and cousins) joined us for the day out.

Just lovely!

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Mom, Gran and Gill (Aunt)

 

 

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Kearney’s – We hate being in the spotlight. 

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I love this piece. It’s titled “Man after divorce” or something like that. 

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The Energizer Light Race – Ticket Giveaway!

Us Saffas have gotten pretty good at doing things in the dark – what with all the Eishkom power outages that we’re all too used to being on the receiving end of, it’s no surprise we’ve become adept at coping in a blackout. Hell, I once even attempted to boil water by precariously placing a mug over 2 tea-light candles. (Side note – it doesn’t work)

Doing Things In The Dark has even spurred a new movement in athletics – with Nike launching their Run Jozi initiative and now Energizer joining in on the fun. Last year I blogged about the Energizer Night Race here and here and this year, it’s back!

If the thought of running turns you off (yes, I’m talking to you friends with “bad knees”), then never fear, because this year participants have the option to take part in either a 10 km trail run, a 5 km walk or  20 km mountain bike. Even better – it’s taking place in Soweto with all routes illuminated by you and Energizer.

Diarise Saturday 10 May now – as this is an event you don’t want to miss. If you class yourself as more ‘water boy’ than ‘athlete’ then the array of entertainment on offer will not disappoint. Participants will be surrounded by the beat of Zulu drums and Pantsula dancers while spectators will be entertained by George the Beatboxer, DJ Milkshake and Laser Dancers. Come hungry as the food will be ‘local and lekker’ with options from local African cuisine caterers and shisanyama’s on sale.

As this is a night race (otherwise why would Energizer sponsor it, silly) the events start as follows:

Mountain Bike Race: 6:30 pm

The route begins at Mofolo Park and follows the wetland north to Dorothy Nyembe Park, circling this park before passing Sedibeng Restaurant. It moves through Dube Hostel then heads to Mzimhlope, before turning back with Orlando Stadium on the left heading to Vilakazi Street. It then briefly joins the runners and walkers along Vilakazi street before heading past Winnie Mandela’s house and back to Mofolo Park.

10km Run: 6:45 pm

Leaving the starting point at Mofolo Park, the route will pass Nancefield Zulu Hostel, go over the bridge at Dube Station and along the small stream with the suburb of Klipspruit on the right, turning left at the Power Park Dam and the Orlando Towers. It will then pass through Nomzamo Shack settlement, crossing over the railway bridge in Orlando adjacent to Orlando Stadium through to Vilakazi street before heading back through Dube Village to Mofolo Park.

5 km Walk: 7:15 pm

The walk starts at Mofolo Park, then heads into Dube village past the Ubuntu Kraal and Winnie Mandela’s home before crossing over the Orlando Koppie. It then moves onto Vilakazi street before heading back through Dube Village to Mofolo Park.

The prices for each event varies from R60 for spectator to R270 for mountain biker). To enter you must visit www.energizerlightrace.co.za

The good news, for those squealing at the cost, is that the lovely folk at Energizer have given me 4 tickets to give away. Nice hey? All you need to do to stand in line to win an entry (to a race of your choice – even you Mrs-bad-knees-I’d-rather-spectate) is to simply comment on this blog post and tell me how amazing I am. I jest – although bonus points for bribery.

To win – for realsies – simply comment on this blog post and tell me why you want to take part, and which race tickles your fancy. You then win a cool prize and save yourself some ronds to spend at the shebeen that night.

This unmissable event is a must for fitness lovers, Afro-chic partygoers and those who love the vibrant culture and history that Soweto has to offer. Get glowing with the Energizer Light Race and set the night alight. For more information, go to www.energizerlightrace.co.za

The competition closes at midnight on Friday 7 March and the winna-wenas will be announced on Monday 10 March.

Good Luck!!

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Update 10/03/14

The winners have been drawn! (thanks to a very nifty online number generator). If your name is below please drop me an email at katenicolekearney@gmail.com with your email address and cell number.

Ziphelele: 5km

John Kearney: 10km Train Run

Sasha Martin: 5km walk

Stephan Schlebusch: Mtb Ride

Congrats!!

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