Posted in Alternative Blog, Blog, Cape Town, Citizen Journalism, Streets, Uncategorized

Roeland Street: A microcosm of the city.

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Cape Town is a networking hub. Walking down the street I met up with Gawaine Ziman, a interior designer and carpenter who lives in the area. His insights into the street influenced much of this piece.

Nestled in the gully between the very yuppie Vredehoek and the bustle of the Cape Town CBD lies Roeland Street. A little nest for those working in the surrounding areas. Roeland Street is its own little village. A haven for both travelers and students. read on to find more out about Roeland Street and its eco-system.

Haunched on the corner of Buitengracht and Roeland Street you can find The Book Lounge. An alternative fairy-tale space where booklovers can mingle with each other, network and also enjoy decent coffee and a good book.

African coffees are the absolute best whether they are locally roasted in South Africa like the coffee served at Barista Coffee which is absolutely wonderful and can also be bought in bags to store for home roasting too.

The space is free-flowing as you walk through the iron bar gate; you immediately feel the warmth of the space. Enter on any day of the week and you’re guaranteed to be greeted with a warm hello from one of the shop attendants. You’ll know them immediately; they will be the tattooed people, the pierced people and the blue-and-pink haired people. At the same time that you will be able to Hear all about Lerato Chabalala and her new ‘Urban Miss’ column you will be able to find a Comedy special by Nick Robinowits. The space is transient and diverse, a must-visit for any and all, especially those with kids who will appreciate the comfortable downstairs ‘kids’ library area.

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The well lit Book lounge is a beautiful spot, not only that but the books are through a very South African, real and unobstructed sense.

The dim-lit bar is broody and is definitely a place of mischief. Transient and diverse, this is certainly a stop for the weary traveller. Of course the fact that it is down the road from The South African House of parliament has a major influence on the type of conversation happening there. In South Africa a politically well versed person, often a hipster or alternatively a ‘decolonial’ mind if-you-will is called ‘woke’. The Kimberly hotel is definitely a place to go for a ‘woke’ conversation.

Roeland Street Square is a haven for the tech-savvy-alpha-geek. With a plethora of stores ranging from DigiCape (An official Apple product Outlet) to Orms (a wonderland for photographers). One could spend an entire afternoon in Roeland Square should the need arise i.e. should your pockets be deep enough. Although the South African Rand is low, inflation is still quite high and technology is not cheap.

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Local Artisan and barista alias “Mojo” is just trying to survive while at the same time starting his own coffee shop. The Beans are sourced from Burundi and roasted in the Nyanga township.

The Soup Kitchen on Roeland Street is constantly full; it has been for many years. One of the things which have kept it going is the weekly Narcotics Anonymous meetings which happen on a Monday night although any day of the week you are able to get access to a meal and some bread. Many of the workers who work for the city garden workers hang out here in the mornings. It’s a wonderful space.

As you enter Roeland Street from ‘the mountain side’ as Cape Townians say – meaning from the top end as you come off the highway lies the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Media Campus. These cool kids are the epitome of ‘woke’. You can spot a CPUT Student a mile away, they are all high-waist-jean wearing people on the street, all the olive-green bomber-jacket people hanging out at the Food-Lovers Market during their break.

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The techies at Digicape are an awesome crew, mingle with them to get the latest in tech gadgetry.

The Food-Lovers market is the perfect place to stop for a quick lunch or browse the local market of goods available. This place is the type for anyone who would be and is interested in the local fresh produce of South Africa. It’s the perfect stop to restock your fridge for a reasonable price and also to find all the weird and wacky things which will be able to get you the right ingredients for your dish.

Whether you are a tourist, have recently relocated to the city or would like to experience an alternate view of Cape Town, to perhaps get out of your daily rut, Roeland Street is worth a stroll.

Roeland Street may look like a modest Street but anyone interested in exploring Cape Town will know that this is hardly the case. It is available for much more than meets the eye, or let me rather say one would need to open their eye in order for them to be able to take in the real scenes of the space and to spot the potential of the people, places and things available on the street.

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Author:

Welcome to my blog, In this space I use my knowledge of having studied computer science subjects, being a self taught coder and at the same time working and finally discovering and exploring my new found (and rather fresh) skills in journalism. I hope you enjoy. I hope you share. I hope you feedback. Yours Thoko Miya

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