Jozi People

For many years I researched and wrote stories for the City of Joburg website.

One of the features I created on the website was Why I love Joburg.

I quizzed significant Joburgers, getting their answers to just that question. 


I had a lot of fun doing it, so have decided to do a version of it here, and call it Jozi People.

I'll be chatting to interesting Joburgers and asking them what Jozi means to them. 

December 11, 2018

It took a house plan to get Marc Latilla hooked on history.

The pony-tailed author, DJ and music professional recently launched his book, Johannesburg Then and Now. It’s a treasure for Joburg enthusiasts: a leisurely stroll down what the early gold prospectors built on a stretch of veld over 130 years ago, juxtaposed against what those buildings and sites look like now. The Then and Now books are a worldwide series, profiling c...

November 27, 2018

If you want to literally touch Johannesburg’s gold mining days, check in with James Findlay’s Collectable Books and Antique Maps store, recently re-located from his Saxonwold home to the basement of the Rand Club in the inner city.

The dignified old club is the perfect place for his collection of antique memorabilia. The grand Edwardian edifice is a bit of an antique itself: built in 1904, it was the third gentlemen’s club on t...

July 4, 2018

Some people have to exercise every day. For their spiritual sanity. Some people have to cook breathtaking meals every day. For their creative sanity. Kathy Munro has to collect books. For her innate curiosity.

She says she has collected books since she was a teenager. “I started collecting more seriously when I got married.”

She now has a collection that takes up three rooms, plus an ample passageway. In total, her collection co...

December 4, 2017

How many of us can say that at 25 we knew exactly what we wanted to be?

Emelda Gininda does, and gives the impression that she has known where she is going from a young age.

“I always believed I’m a work of art,” she says. She has fine features, with high cheek bones, sensual  red lips, bold eyebrows, assertive eyes, a fiercely short Mohawk haircut, and is 1.74cm tall. She wears very little make up.

“I love the way God has create...

November 16, 2017

“There wasn’t a point in my life when I didn’t know who I was,” says Kirti Menon. “How we saw things, how we did things, whether we participated in things or not. It was a ticket to seeing the world differently.”

Menon is the great granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi. She and her extended family, which reaches across the world, walk his path. His principles are seemingly in their DNA, three generations down the line.

Menon was born...

October 12, 2017

Watchmaker Cornelius Lehr is dressed in a neat beige tunic shirt and dark pants, with a trim salt and pepper beard. But I suspect that under this immaculate appearance lurks a free-thinking hippie.

However, what I don’t need to speculate about is that he is an expert craftsman, or, in his words, “a Jack of all trades, a master of one”.

Cornelius describes himself as an “antiquarian horologist”, a specialist in the making and rep...

October 5, 2017

Spunky. Powerful.

The first adjective is mine; the second is Lunga’s description of herself. And it's perfect.

I meet Lunga Nene, a 30-something media analyst at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, at the new place-to-see-Joburg's-stunning-sunsets, Marble restaurant on the Keyes Art Mile in Rosebank.

She talks about her grandmother's influence on her life, describing her as “cheeky”. As she talks about her gogo’s forthrightn...

August 28, 2017

She used to be a tech writer. Now she's a style and wardrobe guru, having just thrown open the online doors of her Ogle Cafe.

Deborah Chambers is tall, elegant, charming, silver-haired and 55. And you'd never guess that her stylish wardrobe comes mainly from charity shops.

“You don’t have to spend a fortune to look good – it’s how you style it that matters,” she enthuses.

She has two favourite charity shops, one on Louis Botha Av...

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