Photoblog: Long Live Melville

Posted by Vuyi Qubeka on 21 April 2016

The bohemian suburb of Melville celebrates its 120th anniversary this year and even after all this time, I’ve discovered that it remains just as charming.

I can’t remember the first time I went to Melville. I just know I’ve always loved it.

I was in my early twenties, studying, discovering, exploring… young and carefree. I learned about what life was like after the sun had set, I learned to talk about poetry and art, of the raptures of happy hour (which went hand-in-hand with building solid relationships with the cab driver; Thabane was good to us), I learned about feminism, to communicate with boys that no longer wore school uniform, and to dance like no one’s watching. It was there that I began to pull back the veil of sheltered youth. Life unfolded here.

About a decade later, I’m still enamoured and I recently returned to the ‘hippie village’ to get reacquainted – this time, to write a story for the April 2016 issue of Getaway. Here is what I experienced in pictures.

 

The quite and neat streets of the hippies village. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

First impressions: The quiet, neat streets of the hippies’ village.

 

27 Boxes in Melville is an innovative mall built with shipping containers housing mostly local businesses of artisan goodies. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

My first stop was at 27 Boxes, an innovative mall built with shipping containers that houses local businesses and artisan goodies.

 

A different view of 27 boxes. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

A different view of 27 boxes. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

 

Impressed - Recreational Juicing is a cold-pressed juice bar that specializes in fresh juices, super smoothies and health shots. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Impressed – Recreational Juicing is a cold-pressed juice bar that specializes in fresh juices, super smoothies and health shots. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

 

The one and only 7th Avenue. Lots has changed, but many things (and places) remain the same. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

My next stop was the one and only 7th Street. Lots has changed, but many things (and places) remain the same.

 

Luckily, eTuk-Tuk is now on hand to whisk you about town and they go as far as Parkhurst, Greenside and to Park Station in the inner city. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Luckily, eTuk-Tuk is now on hand to whisk you about town and they go as far as Parkhurst, Greenside and to Park Station in the inner city.

 

Hell's Kitchen. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

A welcome addition, Hell’s Kitchen is a new kid on the block.

 

The rock 'n roll decor at Hell's Kitchen on 7th. Try their Dragon Fiery Ginger Beer on tap - the only ginger beer in Melville. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

The rock ‘n roll decor at Hell’s Kitchen on 7th. Try their Dragon Fiery Ginger Beer on tap – the only ginger beer in Melville.

 

The interior at Bread and Roses is an ecclectic blend of African prints and brightly coloured palettes. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

The interior at Bread and Roses is an ecclectic blend of African prints and brightly coloured palettes. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

 

 

That's actually one of the co owners, Ishmael Kapula, of Bread and Roses biking about the village. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

That’s one of the co-owners, Ishmael Kapula, of Bread and Roses biking about the village.

 

Bromely Cawood and I met as I was crossing the street. He liked my dress, I loved his sunnies. We sat for a while and he shared his wine with me. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Bromely Cawood and I met as I was crossing the street. He liked my dress, I loved his sunnies. We sat for a while and he shared his wine with me. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

 

Marie-Lais Emond was part of the team that introduced e-tuktuk, she's lived in Melville for 20 years and writes a column called Other Side of the City for the Saturday Citizen. A great person, hugely knowledgeable on the village. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

Marie-Lais Emond was part of the team that introduced e-tuktuk, she’s lived in Melville for 20 years and writes a column called Other Side of the City for the Saturday Citizen. A great person, hugely knowledgeable on the village. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

 

A view of Melville from the hilltops of Brixton. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

A view of Melville from the hilltops of Brixton.

 

I'm sure a lot of you will recognise this iconic angle. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

I’m sure a lot of you will recognise this iconic angle.

 

A poster of Dumisile Feni seen inside Roving Bantu Kitchen in Brixton - a MUST visit. Every item on the walls and in the kitchen tells a story. Just ask! Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

A poster of Dumisile Feni seen inside Roving Bantu Kitchen in Brixton – a MUST visit. Every item on the walls and in the kitchen tells a story. Just ask! Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

 

Sifiso Ntuli has always been keen on furthering the arts and his contribution in the area of Brixton is large, and an important one. The Bantu Kitchen is worth a visit for the food a weekly film or doccie screenings and conversations with bra Sifiso. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Sifiso Ntuli has always been keen on furthering the arts and his contribution in the area of Brixton is large, and an important one. The Bantu Kitchen is worth a visit for the food a weekly film or doccie screenings and conversations with bra Sifiso. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

 

Sifiso had said, 'history very rarely memorialises woman, and the indigenous people.' This mural, titled The doors of learning and cultureshall be open', celebrates singing greats like sis Busi Mhlongo and Brenda Fassie.

Sifiso had said, ‘history very rarely memorializes woman, and the indigenous people.’ This mural, titled ‘The doors of learning and culture shall be open’, celebrates singing greats like sis Busi Mhlongo and Brenda Fassie.

 

Memoirs on the wall of Mozambique inside Xai Xai, inspired by the the city in the south of Mozambique. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Memoirs on the wall of Mozambique inside Xai Xai, inspired by the the city in the south of Mozambique. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

 

A skater girl rolls down 7th. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

A skater girl rolls down 7th.

 

A view of the Johannesburg skyline from my balcony at 12 Stars Lifestyle Apartments. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

A view of the Johannesburg skyline from my balcony at 12 Stars Lifestyle Apartments.

 

Independent bookshop Love Books has a good collection of local authors and leading titles. Vuyi Qubeka

Independent bookshop Love Books has a good collection of local authors and leading titles. Vuyi Qubeka

 

Ruth's Antiques on 4th is set o a heritage site and has treasures for days. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Ruth’s Antiques on 4th is set o a heritage site and has treasures for days. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

 

The Leopard is another icon and the food is said to be one of the best. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

The Leopard is another icon and the food is said to be some of the best in Melville.

 

 

Service Station - Vuyi Qubeka

Service Station – Vuyi Qubeka

 

 

Motel Mi Pi Chi. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Motel Mi Pi Chi. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

 

 

Liberation Cafe has a younger crowd and good for a drink and a boogie with friends on the weekend. It's quieter in the day but also a nice vibe. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Liberation Cafe has a younger crowd and good for a drink and a boogie with friends on the weekend. It’s quieter in the day but also a nice vibe. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Follow my adventures and things on Instagram and Twitter.

 

Long Live Melville, man.

 

Read the full story in the April 2016 issue of Getaway magazine.

Get this issue →

Our April issue is packed full of great holiday ideas for 2016. Get your copy today.

 






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