If you told me a few years ago that I would move to Johannesburg in 2010, I would have refused to believe you. I always vowed never to trade my beloved Cape Province for another…especially not crime-ridden Gauteng.
One of my friends, Yvette lived in Jozi for close to 7 years with her husband, Ronwyn Hughes. Each time we would visit them the discussion would come up. For years they would pose the question: “Why don’t you guys move up to the city…it’s not as bad as they say it is.” I couldn’t understand their obsession with this place. Everything was so fast and literally furious. The rat race was unbearable as well as the traffic!
However, if God has plans for you, there’s no fighting it. So we moved to the city of gold in April 2010, completely by faith.
Having moved countless times, we have literally married the nomadic lifestyle. Thus we naturally settled in. It was our first move to another province and although we were sad to be away from our family, it was exciting.
New prospects…new beginnings, a new start… so we learned to love it. And as the Hughes’ pointed out…it is not as bad as they say.
- Yes, there is traffic…all the time. It is bad and the pollution is suffocative. However, there are six million trees in Johannesburg. On satellite pictures, the city looks like a rain forest, albeit man-made. There are 1.2 million trees within the parks and on the pavements, and 4.8 million in private gardens throughout the suburbs.
- Joburg’s suburbs are beautiful. The houses are palatial and the gardens are very well kept.
- What it lacks in a sea, it makes up in a few dams namely the Emmarentia Dam and Zoo Lake among others.
- My opinion is that people are more open to change that in my home province. Please note: this is based on my personal experience.
- The city is magnificent! I love the buildings and their history. I have been doing some reading regarding.
When gold was discovered in the area in 1886 , Johannesburg sprang up from the veld as a rowdy mining camp. The city will be 125 years old this year.
- Jozi raised world-players such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu amongst others. They lived in Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
- Johannesburg houses a few cities. The FNB Soccer City and Gold Reef city. Soccer city was the flagship venue for the FIFA World Cup 2010. It hosted both the opening match and the final. Gold Reef City Theme Park, a living attraction that documents the gold rush and the birth of Jozi (Johannesburg), and the place to learn more about the city’s fascinating history of grit, glory and gold.
- I love the winters here. Temperatures sometimes go below freeze point, but the sun would be shining. I can’t say the same for summers…I hate the thunderstorms!
- Surprisingly I have grown used to the street vendors. Especially the ones that sell hand-made products. I love their quality offering and how they encapsulate the city in their work.
- The city has a certain pulse and it’s addictive. The inner city buzzes with people from all over Africa that gives it a raw energy that I like. It truly is a melting pot of people, cultures and opinions.
There are many more reasons why I love Joburg, maybe even more why I should hate it. The crime rate is probably the city’s most famous liability, the traffic is a nightmare and the road works have been dragging for years…but it has the Gautrain, Africa’s first speed train.
You see…whenever I hear of something negative about the place I now call home, I am quick to think of a positive. I guess its part of being a nomad. You learn to adapt and see the positive about your new home town. It is a great survival instinct.
Oh, you want to know what I think of the new tollgate system? Right now, I try not to think about it. We as South African’s have amazing coping abilities. I will drive myself by this motto: I’ll drive less, talk less, work more and try to create a better country! 😉
What do you like about your hometown or city! Please share!