Centurion, an anonymous no man’s land between Joburg and Pretoria, is home to a magical place called Buyuk Chamlija: a self-described “Socio Eco Techno Village” that grows fat, juicy pomegranates and has a Turkish restaurant shaped like a beehive.
Fiver and I spent an afternoon at Buyuk Chamlija — I’m going to call it BC for short — during its annual pomegranate festival. We picked pomegranates, sipped pomegranate juice, and ate Turkish pizza and pomegranate ice cream. We watched young families playing basketball and frolicking in fountains. We had a short conversation with a nice Turkish man named Hussein, who works at BC and knows a lot about pomegranate farming.
One thing we didn’t do, however, is figure out what BC actually is. Hussein said it’s run by a Turkish non-profit — I don’t know which one, but it’s not affiliated with the Nizamiye Mosque in nearby Midrand (for some reason I thought it might be). Anyway, BC seems to be quite a large operation and I’m curious to know what it’s all about.
I need to do more research and I don’t know enough to write an informed, comprehensive blog post about BC. But in the meantime I wanted to tell you about the pomegranates (love that word!) and the restaurant, Tadinda, which is almost certainly the most interesting building in Centurion.
That’s all on BC for now. I suggest following them on Instagram; in addition to the pomegranate festival, they are planning annual olive and cherry festivals and various other events. Also I think the restaurant is open every day.