Travel Diaries: 72 Hours In Johannesburg, SA Through The Eyes Of Ndani TV’s Folu Storms

Ndani TV’s ‘The New Africa’ show is a series which aims to tell the African story to the world, through the eyes of an African. The New Africa show wants to follow in the footsteps of African music and movies in putting the spotlight on the continent, being a show which recognizes the enormous potential cities on the African continent have to offer as travel destinations in terms of living the experience of the rich diversity of the African culture and that stories of these experiences are rarely ever told by Africans as against foreign visitors and hence strives to change that balance.

Undertaking this task, is Folu Storms, a Nigerian woman in her twenties, who has a passion and a need to showcase true-to reality African cities, the show will explore her experiences as a self confessed city lover and travel junkie as she experiences the sights, sounds and sensations of the city life in the continent she can’t help but love.

In this episode, the spotlight is on Johannesburg (also known as Jozi or Joburg), South Africa’s largest city by population and having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa, along with being the world&#39s largest city not situated on a river, lake, or coastline.

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Day 1
After getting off my plane at O.R. Tambo International Airport I had to take a minute to soak it all in and try to get my bearings because I made it! I stayed at an apartment in the Ginnegaap Guesthouse, a quaint little place in Melville, Johannesburg which I absolutely adored. When that was over and done with I watched a gorgeous sunset and slipped in a little catnap.
A little later I got out of bed and went out for some drinks at one of the happening clubs in Joburg; Chez Ntemba. Awesome DJ, good people, great music, amazing drinks… I’m actually running out of superlatives to describe it but here’s one word that might do it justice; EPIC.

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Day 2

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Now there’s no way I’d go to Jozi and not shop. I’d already heard about the Market on Main which is this really cool thing that happens every Sunday in the east side of Johannesburg in the Maboneng Precinct. It definitely didn’t disappoint, there’s almost a hundred stalls selling different things from bags to shoes to clothes and literally everything fashion.

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One stall caught my eye- it’s owned by Maria McCloy. She started off as an accessory lover/retailer and then moved on to bags and shoes. She makes her stuff with all kinds of African cloth and not just the stereotypical Ankara you find everywhere else. I decided to get a bag made with Ndebele cloth from a tribe of the same name in South Africa and in fact when I was getting off the plane one of the air hostess pointed at my bag and said she loved it, when I explained the materials origin to her she laughed and said “Yeah I know, that’s my tribe! It’s why I love it.”

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After all that shopping there was only one way to relax… the spa!! I made my way to the Africology Spa in Maslow. It was really lovely, the people were so welcoming and the ambiance was pretty peaceful- also I had to go to the spa because I felt my skin was suffering from the weather and water change.

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I’ve always been a card girl ( I’ve never enjoyed carrying a lot of cash around) so being able to use my GTBank Master/Visa Card made the trip so much easier and everything just felt perfect.

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For dinner I went to The Butchers Shop which is this one-of-a-kind restaurant where actual butchers cut and prepare your choice of meat for you right there and then. For wine I had a 2009 vintage from the Cape Wine Makers Guild, out of the Franschoek Wine Region in Cape Town and a delicious rump steak with black pepper corn sauce and steamed vegetables; I was in food heaven!!

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We went club hopping later in the evening; which was hilarious most especially because it was a SUNDAY NIGHT! Clearly people in Jozi have no idea what rest means. The first club we hit was SWAY in Sandton, and it was pretty dope, definitely a “cool kids” club as all the stars were out and it was the rapper Magz birthday! We were excited to celebrate with him.

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The second club was called KONG, which was definitely The KING KONG of clubs in Jozi: the latest in laser technology, a whole bunch of footballers who were allegedly ‘‘injured” so we couldn’t film or take any pictures, plus a samurai encased in glass behind the bar… yeah. I won’t go into too much detail, but if you are into clubbing, Kong is a must! I had such an awesome day but I was definitely wiped out by day’s end.

 

Day 3
After a jam-packed 72 hours, I decided to take it easy and sleep in a bit. In the later afternoon I went to meet Colin (20) and Gaylor aka Pastor Krump (21), two Krump dancers. They were really interesting kids and had so much energy, positivity and passion.

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I loved how they were using dance to express themselves and also showing others how God can work through you with the gifts and talents he gives you to inspire, motivate and free others. For such young guys to work so hard and be so positive… I felt very humbled, blessed and happy to have met them and I picked up a few extra dance tips too!

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Dinner with the girls was the perfect way to exit Johannesburg! It was really dinner with my sisters with voices! Dzithe (Zee), Lerato, Merise and Makgotso are four dynamic and engaging women who always speak candidly. I had been emailing Zee on a professional level for about a month before my trip to Joburg, then met up with her and the girls the day before and fell in love!

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This was an amazing trip. Johannesburg is brilliant, beautiful and encompasses everything I love about cities. It has fantastic infrastructure, a busy pace and feel without being hectic, along with a myriad of activities to keep you busy. It’s lovely to see how far they have come in such a short time! I am optimistic for what future years will bring and I absolutely recommend Joburg and its people for the ultimate African City experience!  I’m already planning my next trip back… this time an actual holiday

Source – www.ndani.tv

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