In Transit: Hillbrow Above and Below

by | Mar 28, 2017 | Hillbrow/Yeoville, Johannesburg, Museums and Buildings | 9 comments

I’m about to leave South Africa for a few weeks, which always makes me feel weird. I woke up in a strange, sad mood today, mourning everything about the state of the world. I recognize the feeling now — it’s pre-transit melancholy. (Although there really are a lot of crappy things happening in the world right now, too.)

This is going to be a momentous trip for a variety of reasons and I’ll be blogging about those reasons along the way. But before I go, I thought I’d throw out some momentous Jozi photos that I took earlier this month.

I tagged along with some friends on a tour of Hillbrow and Berea with Dlala Nje, an organization based in Ponte City. I’ve blogged about Hillbrow, Berea, and Ponte City on many occasions but these places never get old.

View of Joburg from the top of Ponte CityDlala Nje has an apartment on the top floor of Ponte City. This is the view through the window of that apartment.

Satellite dishes in HillbrowHillbrow has an incredible concentration of satellite dishes.

Ponte City core straight upPonte City (the tallest residential building in Africa) has a hollow core. Here’s the view from inside the core, one of the most spectacular sights in Joburg.

Ponte City core at an angleSorry, one more.

Fiver sketching in the Ponte City coreFiver sketches inside the Ponte core.

Hillbrow Gumtree Out on the streets, this is the Hillbrow version of Gumtree. People in Hillbrow and Berea use this wall to advertise apartments for rent, rooms for rent, even beds for rent. They often sit around the wall after they put up their signs, waiting for others to find their advertisements. It’s a great place to people-watch.

Kids walking home from school on Pretoria Street in HillbrowSchool’s out on Pretoria Street.

Shopping signSonnyboy’s Mini Market, the shop that sells everything from sardines to hubby bubbly.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for updates from the Western Hemisphere. And not to worry, the #Gauteng52 series will continue uninterrupted during my travels.


  1. Richard Goller

    Always great see your pics of JHB. Ponte – that building has so many stories to tell, some of them urban legends no doubt. Thanks. R

    • 2summers

      Undoubtedly. But I think a lot of them are also true 🙂

  2. Gail Scott Wilson

    Safe travels, enjoy, overdo the Aunty mode and looking forward to seeing you when you return.

    • 2summers

      I’m glad you agree. It’s the craziest building.

  3. Catherine

    Wishing you a great trip!

    • 2summers


  4. Mthokozisi Lloyd Mkhize

    I’m South African, born in Umlazi Township in Durban Kwa-Zulu Natal and I live in Johannesburg with mom..

    • 2summers

      That’s awesome. Thanks for the comment 🙂


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