Vibey Diepsloot eatery, Boza’s Kishin, hosted the launch of Wits Professor Anton Harber’s latest book Diepsloot on May 10.

The main purpose of the book is to break down the stereotypes surrounding the township.

It includes Harber’s observations, analyses and conversations in and around the township located just past Fourways.

The presence of the book’s main subjects at the launch, Diepsloot residents, is something Harber considers a success.

“The most important thing was to launch it in Diepsloot and acknowledge the assistance I had from key people there,” said Harber.

Philip Makwela, outgoing ANCYL chairperson in the area, said: “Diepsloot is known as dangerous, poor, and a crime-ridden community. There is another side where we exist to bring hope.”

It is this other side that he feels the book brings across – balancing the rampant poverty with the residents’ aspirations.

“It is an opportunity to tell our own story. Anton brought [out] the side that Diepsloot has leaders and has plans for development [to light].”

Connel & Anne Theunissen, a couple that has been helping and educationally facilitating with pre-schools in Diepsloot for years, said: “We know Diepsloot people to be loving, kind and supportive.

“We feel as safe in Diepsloot as we do anywhere else.”

Harber accompanied them once on their weekly trips and described them as a “remarkable couple, they are unbelievably dedicated missionaries”.

Diepsloot residents Hlokomani Nzizi & Calvin Ngwenya, who are also employees of Boza’s Kishin, said: “It’s a bit of an inspiration, I am happy about this [event, because] it means there are good things about Diepsloot,” said Nzizi.

Ngwenya agreed, saying, “It’s something that brings joy to Boza’s Kishin because this happened here and it was successful, [so] more people will want to do their thing here”.

Boza’s Kishin part owner, Jabu Nkabinde, said he was “ecstatic” about hosting Harber’s book launch, and “was eager to dig into the book”. Nkabinde is one third of the team behind the chisa nyama business, which includes Cannelle de Ruig and Thabo Bogopa (also known as musician JR).

Harber’s family also shared in the residents’ elation over the book.

“This evening’s been a thing of great pride for me,” said his mother, Zara Harber.

“Anton’s done it [writing the book] with such great feeling, perception and understanding. It will help us all to have a greater social understanding.

“I did not know he would be a journalist – I thought he’d do something more reliable,” she quipped about Harber’s choice of career.