Braamfontein opens its doors to a new pan-African book store
There exists a drink for R100 at an espresso bar in Braamfontein. Yes, R100. Madness, right?
This drink, called the Skhotado, consists of Ultra Mel custard, Red Bull and Ristretto and is one of Father Coffee’s signature drinks. The Skhotado even has its own Instagram hashtag. Now that’s pretty cool.
[pullquote]”The idea for the drink is based on the Izikhotane youth culture whereby members burn money, destroy expensive clothes and pour alcohol on the ground – all in the name of being cool.”[/pullquote]
One of the four owners of 73 Juta Street’s Father Coffee, Chad Goddard, said the Skhotado started off as “a bit of a joke”. The idea for the drink is based on the Izikhotane youth culture whereby members burn money, destroy expensive clothes and pour alcohol on the ground – all in the name of being cool.
Goddard says buying the drink is essentially a cheeky way of “showing off how rich you are” – and yes folks, there are those who have bought this drink and wasted it by either pouring it on the table or passing it on to someone else.
A few weeks ago, Wits Vuvuzela ran an article on what you can do with R100 in Braam. Well, here’s another thing to add to your list – if you’re brave enough of course. If you’re looking for a way to stay awake for a long day of lectures, well the Skhotado may just be the answer.
(Cheaper) Drinks with a difference
However, we at Wits Vuvuzela know that a drink for R100 is not everyone’s cup-of-tea (or cup-of-Skhotado) and thankfully, Father Coffee has a menu of other coffees and drinks to choose from – all costing a lot less than R100.
From a Lindt hot chocolate for R25 to cappuccinos (starting at R15) and fresh ice tea (R15), Father Coffee is an ideal place for a quick coffee break, some rest and relaxation or a date-with-a-difference.
Goddard highly recommends the cappuccinos and flat-whites (a cappuccino with less foam). The drinks are served in cute mugs, making your coffee-drinking experience just that extra bit cooler.
According to Goddard, the second most popular drink after the cappuccino is the Cortado, which will set you back around R20. An espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk, this drink is sure to awaken your senses and help you complete those last-minute assignments.
The “Father” of all coffees
Located directly opposite Kitchener’s Carvery and next to the Neighbourgoods Market, Father Coffee is a quaint and cosy spot. With its wood-panelled walls and sociable staff, the atmosphere is welcoming, intimate and homely.
If you’re looking for some down-time, then it’s best to avoid Saturdays when Father Coffee and its surroundings are hustling and bustling with the Neighbourgoods crowds. It is much quieter during the week and you’ll be able to enjoy a selection of gourmet sandwiches and baked treats from the Black Forest Bakery with your coffee.
Father Coffee is open weekdays from 8am to 4pm (perfect for that one-hour lunch-break between lectures) and on Saturdays from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
So whether you have the cash to try a Skhotado or just want a good old fashioned cappuccino, Father Coffee is a definite must.
It all began with two encounters – a fictional encounter, complicated by a peculiarly South African issue. And an encounter on a real-life level, which brought about a “mingling of different colours”.Two students, who were no more than acquaintances before, had to work intimately together this month to create a piece of physical theatre about a relationship between two characters. But not just any two people. 56 Mocha Street follows the tensions between an interracial couple.
Emma Tollman and Oupa Lesne Sibeko, 3rd year Drama, choreographed the piece based on their own experiences.
The two characters encounter one another in 56 Mocha Street, their home and space. Here they delve into the tensions between how society perceives interracial relationships and how they perceive themselves after being affected by society, said Sibeko.
Apart from the obvious racial tensions – between their characters and, potentially, the two of them – the actors described what it was like to have to work together for the first time. “I remember doing a back-to-back improvisation and Oupa’s body felt so foreign to me,” said Tollman.
How the piece was created
In creating the piece, the two took inspiration from their physical theatre class. It was about discovering “who we are in the class, personally and in the relationship”, said Sibeko. The name 56 Mocha Street uses the metaphor of coffee to describe “the mingling of different colours”, with Emma as a white female and Oupa a black male. The piece explores the intricacies of gender fights, and facing one another head-on.The two use the idea of play and using their bodies to take on the spaces in which they find themselves. Through this, they explore the idea of encounters further.
What is the piece about?[pullquote]“It’s a vicious cycle of disconnection, finding each other and losing each other,”[/pullquote]
The piece depicts an intensely tragic relationship, “Its a vicious cycle of disconnection,finding each other and losing each other” ,said Tollman. She described the journey through Mocha Street as different from that of a more conventional theater. In this piece, “there is a disillusion of time, a flood of happenings. We are always just happening, we can’t control keeping on.”
The piece was created through a process of “play”, during which the two noticed that material “kept happening”. Through this material and their movements, they have found a story.
The students who run the Hillbrow Entrepreneurship Initiative’s (HEI) recently opened coffee shop in Braamfontein, have been getting their aprons dirty proving that entrepreneurship and creativity go together, just as well as coffee and crepes.
Three weeks ago HEI café opened its narrow, wood-panelled doors and beckoned Braamfontein’s creative minds inside.[pullquote]Beyond those doors is a coffee shop, a conference room, a library, an art gallery and a grandmother of a beige couch that could be auctioned off by next week.[/pullquote]
Good old hard work and determination seems to be the ingredient bringing together these disparate elements.
Early on Tuesday evening, as Braamfontein’s tall buildings emptied themselves out on to the streets and into buses and taxis. Phephisile Mathizerd, tapping on a laptop keyboard and fending off whistles from her cellphone, explained why HEI café was not just another coffee shop.
“It’s a conducive space,” Mathizerd said of the space furnished with odds and ends straight out of a postcard of 19th-century Paris.
“Everything we have here is from (Wits) Hospice, we’re using the space to help them sell their stuff,” she said.
The “library” books are from the Wits Hospice as well, and for R80 a month students can loan out up to four books a week.
The café also serves as a place for the entrepreneurs who work with HEI to display and sell their products, be it paintings or stuffed versions of the big five, to homemade jam and hand-carved furniture.
This Sunday they will be hosting their first furniture and art auction.
Barbara Copelovici explained HEI’s entrepreneurship program:
“We offer the entrepreneurs a ‘business-in-a-box’ worth R10 000. A business account, basic start-up equipment and WiFi. If their business runs for more than three months, they can go to the Branson Centre for free,” Copelovici said.
She explained that from a pool of 100 entrepreneurs they had narrowed the number down to five of the best ideas, and worked with this group on a 6 to 12 months basis.
The menu, consisting solely of coffee and crepes, was inspired by French-born Copeloivci, one of the founders of HEI.
Everything at the café has a minimum, not a fixed price, and patrons are encouraged to pay more if they can.
All revenue generated by the cafe goes back into the Initiative’s programmes, and to paying interns and employees who work in the shop.
The café is entirely student run.
For entrepreneurs to use the conference room in the quaint café, wedged in the alley between the Nando’s on Jorissen street and the Puma store on De Korte, is buy a coffee and a crepe.
For under R25, they are allowed use of the well-furnished conference room, access to Wifi, in-house computers, as well as help and advice from the staff.
HEI will also host a “speed dating” session this Friday.
Theko Moteane said the session would be on the same principle as match-making, except they would encouraging people to mingle and make business connections, rather than romantic ones, and establish the basis for future collaborations..
“This is where the rich meet the poor, where big corporates meet students,” Theko said.