My name is Heather Mason and I’m an American in Jozi. (“Jozi” is the local slang term for Johannesburg. We also call it Joburg.) I write a blog called 2Summers.
I moved to Jozi from Washington D.C. in August 2010, at the end of the American summer and the beginning of the South African summer. That’s why I decided to call the blog 2Summers. (Read my very first blog post here.) I’ve now lived through more than a dozen South African summers so the name doesn’t make much sense anymore.
When I meet new people and they hear my accent, they usually ask me what I do and why I came here.
What I do: I write and I take photos. When I moved here I was just a writer. Then I started blogging and including photos in my posts. I realized that my stories are best told with a combination of pictures and words. So now I do both. I tell stories about life in Joburg and my travels around South Africa and the rest of the world.
Why I came here: I came because I was in a relationship with a South African — a photographer named Jon. Jon was the main reason I came, but I also came because I was pretty sure I belonged somewhere in Africa. I was right.
Jon died in December 2011. After he died, I never considered leaving. Joburg is home for me now.
This is me exploring Mabro Hats, an old hat factory/warehouse in downtown Joburg. (Photo: Gail Wilson)
Here’s another post about how I came to Joburg and why I stayed.
After Jon’s death, I spent a couple of years recovering. I learned a lot about who I am and how to make myself happy. My grief and sadness kept shrinking and my love for myself, and for Joburg, kept growing.
I’ve developed a passion for Joburg that I’ve never felt for any other place. I love exploring this wacky city, which is unlike any other city in the world. I love walking Jozi’s streets and discovering places that most lifelong Jozi-ites don’t know about. I love showing the world that despite its negative reputation, Joburg is a great place to live in and to visit.
Surf around my blog for a while and you’ll see what I mean.
A Note About My Content
I blog for a living and sometimes I write sponsored posts. I am selective about the brands I work with and only accept partnerships that are a good fit for my blog and my audience. I always maintain full editorial control of the content on my blog.
Updated March 2022.
Blog header image created by Fiver Löcker.