A home away from home, a club from Wits hopes to create a space of care, comfort and support.
The Wits Bapedi Renabile club , whose name loosely translates to Pedi people who are relaxed, welcomed new and old members at a braai at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, with the aim of developing a sense of belonging for those in attendance.
This was the club’s first event of the year, Phuti Mokgehle, a committee member of the club said: “We were eager to meet our fellow Bapedi students, get to know each other, and witness their happiness.”
Preparations were not without hiccups, as the group only had access to a portion of the money needed for food ahead of the event. Mokgehle said they had to abandon half of their supplies at the tills at Makro, as they were told “Wits owes money” to the retailer.
The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (Faso) is responsible for disbursing funds to registered clubs and societies. An estimated R11 000 was needed, but the committee only got R7 000.
When students subscribe to clubs and societies, fees are paid to Faso, which then administers those funds. Club members paid R20 each for the braai, plus a once-off membership fee of R100 at the beginning of the year.
Different games were played from 30 secondsto indigenous games such as childhood favorite diketo, in which a circle is drawn on the floor and filled with small rocks and stones, the aim being to gracefully draw them in and out while holding back one, two or three outside of said circle.
Pedi wedding songs were the highlight of the braai as members sang and danced along to tunes like Pleasure wa Manyalo and Maredi.
Attendee, Mmatlanya Lepadima, said: “I enjoyed the dance floor, vibes, and music… I am exceptionally content.”
The braai also strived to also create an environment where members could easily find people who speak their language and find solace in their shared experiences. Pollen Maloba, the club’s chairperson, said, “Friendships have flourished among the members.”
FEATURED IMAGE: A member of the club, braaing some meat at the Zoo Lake. Photo: Patience Masalesa
September 24 marks national Heritage Day in South Africa and braaing is a big part of our national heritage. Some people have braais at home but others prefer more social settings. Parks are awesome for this purpose and Johannesburg has a variety of cool spots for friends and family to enjoy.
1) Zoo lake
Located opposite the Johannesburg zoo on Jan Smuts avenue, this park is ideal for bringing the whole family out for a braai. It is equipped with braai stands, basketball courts for the ballers, jungle gyms for the kids and rowing boats for the lovers. Zoo lake is one of Johannesburg’s most treasured braai locations. AND ITS FREE
FUN FILLED ENTERTAINMENT: Zoo Lake is conveniently located opposite the zoo for a fun filled day for the whole family. Photo: Provided
This 4.5 hectare park is popular among residents of Soweto. The Moroka dam flows right through the park and a variety of bird life can be found there. Thokoza Park is the preferred location for hosting jazz concerts in the township and has a big screen television in the middle of the park for your viewing pleasure. For your convenience, you can take a Rea Vaya bus that will drop you off right there.
SUNNY SOWETO: Thokoza Park is popular among Soweto residents. Photo: Provided.
3) Innes Free
Nestled neatly in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, Innes Free lies between the concrete jungle of Sandton and the township of Alexandra. The park offers two dams, serene green lawns and shady trees- perfect for braaiing any day. The park has played host to some of Johannesburg’s biggest concerts and shows. Remember the Major League gardens?
HIDDEN GEM: Innes Free park is an awesome getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Photo: Provided
4) Dorothy Nyembe Park
Named after a popular struggle icon, this 26-hectare park can be found in Dobsonville, Soweto. Dorothy Nyembe park is equipped with walking trails, sports facilities and a games area where people can enjoy a game of chess or morabaraba. It has a wide range of bird life owing to its natural wetland found there. Braaiing at Dorothy Nyembe can be done any day as its open seven days a week.
CHILL ZONE: Dorothy Nyembe Park is popular among the youth in Dobsonville and surrounding areas. Photo: Provided
5) Johannesburg Botanical Gardens & Emmarentia Dam
This park mimics what you would imagine the garden of Eden to look like. Spread over 81 hectares, this space is ideal for braaiing. The park is a kaleidoscope of flowers and plants in its many gardens named the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Herb Garden and a Hedge Demonstration Garden. The botanical gardens are a famous location for taking wedding pictures but also make a great spot for hanging out, picnicking and braaiing.
SCENIC BEAUTY: The Botanical gardens are a relaxing braai spot for friends and family. Photo: Provided
Make sure to pack your charcoal, camp chairs and cooler boxes this 24 September. The options of where to braai in Johannesburg are endless, so pop into anyone of the above listed parks this Heritage Day and you wont be disappointed.
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