Heritage Month brings about feelings of inadequacy difficult to overcome.
Wits Enterprise workers celebrate heritage day in tasteful style.
Organisers are looking for a new, larger, venue so the show can go on.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Kenyan-born PhD candidate Linet Imbosa finds it sad that so much food in South Africa is over-processed. “When you make your own food, you build a fellowship with that food and it nourishes you.”
Rather than celebrating Kenyan culture by visiting a restaurant, the developmental psychology specialist invited Wits Vuvuzela for a “cultural picnic” to celebrate Heritage Month.
September’s associations with heritage, culminating in the public holiday on the 24th, posed a dilemma for Vuvuzela reporters: would we look at South African heritages and cultures and risk adding to the truism that South Africans are self-involved?
Or should we look at non-South African cultures and risk the accusation of treating heritages outside our own as inherently foreign?
The dilemma resolved itself when we sat down to a lunch of traditional Kenyan foods or kienjeli, with Imbosa and some for her colleagues from various parts of Africa.
She had prepared it the night before between her punishing academic schedule.
The meal consisted of a number of dishes that were made of slow-cooked vegetables and natural food stuffs prepared with little or no oil.
“Every homestead in Kenya has a kitchen garden,” Imbosa said as she pointed us to sukumawiki, which translates to “stretch the week” in English – a mixed vegetable dish of shredded carrots, onions, tomatoes and lentils.
She explained that the name referred to the fact that meat was a luxury, so this cheaper vegetable dish could be enjoyed throughout the week.
[pullquote align=”right”]“When I first came to Johannesburg and my sister, who was hosting me, lived in a flat, she would grow herbs in buckets on her window sills.”[/pullquote] Throughout the meal and the conversation she referred again and again to the close relationship she felt to growing, preparing and slowly enjoying her food.
“I grew up cooking, I was always with my mother and my grandmother and you learn the art of growing and harvesting food.” She explained this feeling of being “in fellowship” with your food as “almost metaphysical”.
Imbosa said the traditional food she shared with us reminded her of home, which is why she continued to go to places like Yeoville to source ingredients such as cassava and doga (fish fingerlings) and chapatti.
Perhaps finding the common ground was the point of the cultural experiment.