This year, I will be ending the year somewhere in the middle of Johannesburg, I have no idea what happens in Jozi when the year is ending. My first time to usher in a new year in South Africa, I was in East London in Eastern Cape. The venue of action was Ebuhlanti Beach Front also known as Marina Glen, the most popular hang-out spot in East London. On this day, Buffalo City Metro organized a concert that was free for everybody.
Looking forward to now my present situation – being that I will be ushering the year in Jozi, I had to contract the help of google, to just make sure I will be at the right place when that time comes. If you have used google, you will know how quick he is when it comes to solving this kind of problems. Among the top two spots as advised by google was; Greensleeves Medieval Kingdom, this is always a hit (so google says)– certainly something different and fun! End of year function at Greensleeves Medieval Kingdom in Sterkfontein. They offer you superb food along with Medieval Feasts, DJs, costumes and entertainment to give you the perfect end-year event after a long year. (It already sounds good to me).
Vegas Nights, a fantastic idea if you are planning on having a Las Vegas-themed year-end office party. They offer a great variety of the most loved and exciting games from Vegas to spice up any occasion. Play a bit of Blackjack, Poker or Roulette and Craps and Vegas Nights can tailor make your fun gaming year-end event depending on your budget, venue, concept and number of guests! (I am a married man, and what the movies say is that some people who desired a Vegas experience ended up being married with the least of their knowledge).
My end year picks are now down to two, Vilakazi Street in Orlando West or 7th street Melville. This two places give you a true picture of what it means to be South African. 7th Street is home to many hotels and restaurants but for this end year the restaurant the catches my heart is .Xai Xai Lounge, Melville.
Local musician and journalist, Chris du Plessis, runs this lively yet laid-back cocktail bar, rumoured to be the hottest joint on the Melville Strip. Pronounced Shy Shy, the lounge is modelled on the much loved cocktail bar of the same name in Maputo.
Expect décor that is Mozambique inspired, with a jungle-meets-ocean theme and drinks to match – beers and tropical cocktails. The word on the street is that this cocktail bar serves the best Caipirinhas in Joburg as well as other whacky numbers like Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel.
The cool clientele is an intriguing mix of hippy types, local artists, intellectuals and bohemians, who gather at Xai Xai to engage in heated conversation over cocktails and Mozambican beer. If all this debating makes you hungry, the lounge serves great Portuguese-African fare.
“With tables spread along the pavement, red formica chairs, red tablecloths and chilled Laurentina lagers, it’s like Maputo without the heat and mosquitos”………so they say.
But then, ushering a year in Jozi without Vilakazi Street is already starting a year wrong, because this place, is where the true South African spirit is, I mean. Vilakazi Street is the most famous street in Soweto and it the only street in the world to have had two nobel prize winners as its residents. Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived and live in Vilakazi Street. Nelson Mandela’s house has become a museum and the Tutu’s house is still used as a normal home by the Tutu family.
Sakhumzi Restaurant on Vilakazi Street gives you an authentic Soweto experience with a buffet of a wide variety of local dishes, from the starter to dessert that has a combination of cake, blue berries and ice cream. Which makes me wonder why this are not top of Google’s list of top 10 spots in Jozi to usher in your new year. My thought is that this is Johannesburg, not a small village in Malawi. My way of ending the year maybe small or on budget or troubled, but here is where the big boys live, and am sure there is a big party somewhere, beyond my pockets reach.
So wherever you usher in your new year, I hope your wishes for 2017 come true for you and come end of the year, we will be taking stock yet again.