Morning Stroll Through Hillbrow and Yeoville

I took a quick photowalk through Hillbrow and Yeoville this morning with my friend Ruth and some guys from the Hillbrow Boxing Club, including my boxing coach George Khosi. I’m saving most of the photos I took for a project that I’ll be revealing soon. But I took a few special shots for this post.

Church in HBC

When Ruth and I arrived at the gym at 6:30 a.m., here’s what we found: Dozens of members of the African Baptist Apostolic Church, dancing and singing and stomping rhythmically on the floor. George occasionally lets out the gym to various congregations from this church; they arrive on Saturday evening and pray all night. (We arrived just before they finished.) What an amazing surprise — I find these services incredibly beautiful and I’m grateful to the congregation for allowing us to take photos.

Hillbrow Tower and bird

The Hillbrow Tower and a perfect pigeon in flight.

George Ponte1

We walked to Yeoville Ridge, one of my favorite spots in Joburg. Pictured here: Ponte City and George Khosi, two of this city’s great icons.

Hillbrow

Hillbrow in all its glory, shot from Yeoville Ridge.

 Magogo Minimarket

I’ve been driving past this shop, which is on Claim Street near the corner of Esselen Street in Hillbrow, for years. I have always wanted to photograph it. I think it must be the tiniest shop in Joburg — just large enough for a single person to stand in and crammed with stuff, mostly candy and toys from what I can see. The proprietress, whose name I never got but I’m guessing might be Magogo, agreed to be photographed but she didn’t seem totally happy with the situation.

Hillbrow cat

Back at the gym, Ruth and I paid a visit to the Happy Hillbrow Cat. She has become quite lazy in her adulthood, rarely leaving this cozy folded blanket next to George’s bed. Unlike Magogo, the Happy Hillbrow Cat seems to enjoy being photographed.

Thanks to George, Takalani, and Siya for a great morning. It’s been a while since I took a walk around this part of town and it felt like a breath of fresh air.

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5 Comments

  • Reply jackie March 9, 2015 at 5:19 am

    love
    hi to George for me

    • Reply 2summers March 9, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      Will do Jacks.

  • Reply Sam March 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve been an avid reader of this blog ever since I spent 3 months in SA a few years back. Ever since that trip I’ve had a fascination with Hillbrow but never got the opportunity to explore back then. This exhibition recently opened up in my home town of Edinburgh, Scotland and I thought I would pass on the details to you: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/whatson/exhibitions/ponte-city

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:33 am

      Thanks so much for the comment, Sam, and for sharing this. I’ve seen Michael Subotzsky’s Ponte pics before – they’re incredible.

      • Reply Sam March 20, 2015 at 1:42 am

        It really was an amazing exhibition. Joburg is definitely on my list of places I need to visit again so I can explore the inner city much more than I did!

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