Township for beginners


As if black South Africans didn’t have enough to contend with already with township eating houses being over-run by people from the suburbs and every backpacker from Europe … things could soon get a lot worse when Gold Brands opens a branch of Chesanyama in the U.S.

One might expect that traditions and languages will be put on the butcher’s block alongside those enormous cuts of meat … or maybe it is just cheese that they sell at this chesanyama place? One can hope?

Something we wrote earlier … August 5 2014, to be exact

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You may be a local, but you are not a local-local. You are from, say, Etoli (used to be known as Egoli, but that was when we were all ‘in it together’ … paying for those superhighways, I mean … but that is a story for another day).

You may even be pale-skinned but, hell, your “soul is black”.

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You are hip, hop and happening; you like to tell people you ‘did’ Soweto before it was safe. You have eaten pap and beans and even Mopani worms and got down with the people for the longest time.

You are an independent thinker, a lone ranger, a trend-setter, not a lamb or a lemming.

That said, the pull of the December holidays in Cape Town is that great leveller. You are with the gang (and Agang actually) on this one: happy to tread that well-worn path and line up to be treated rudely and pay stratospheric prices for a Mozambican prawn or two on the pavement at some shiny, over-priced tuck shop in Camps Bay

But even here, on the shiny southern tip, you must surely be able to Facebook a check-in at the occasional shebeen. You would like to add a little bit of township to the regular updates from Virgin Active to keep your personal brand current and sexily New South African.

Well Mzoli’s, “the ultimate shisa nyama” in Gugulethu, may have its own website http://www.mzolisplace.co.za/ and be the perfect place for pale posers, but it is also jam-packed with The People. It is, in fact, a blazing inferno of coolness for locals and visitors alike!

ImageTalking about a blazing inferno, that is where your food will be prepared. If you get to Mzoli’s late and need to get back to town in time for the Even-song at St Esmeralda’s you might need to venture very close to the fires of hell to pass a Hurry-Up Fee to a sweaty griller.

The lamb is most likely not organic. It is probably not from New Zealand or hand-reared by virgin maidens on the finest baby corn. But it is delicious! Best not to wonder why. Just have another beer-and-whisky-chaser (lokshin-style) .
It kind of makes me wonder why we wash our braai/bbq grid with all those nasty chemicals between uses.

White people are welcome but do not, forgoddssake, wear white!

Siobhan Cassidy

1 thought on “Township for beginners”

  1. And don’t think you can get away from the car guards on Klipfontein Rd if you’re not going to Mzoli’s! The moment you approach the shebeen you’re immediately instructed to park, whether you were going to Mzoli’s or not.

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