Always diverse, different and brilliant! On Wednesday this week, we had the privilege of being hosted by Sophiatown the Mix, urban experiences and discovered everything there is to know about the history of Sophiatown.
“Hermann Tobiansky acquired 237 acres of property west of the centre of Johannesburg. The private leasehold township was surveyed in 1903 and divided into almost 1700 small stands. The township was named after Tobiansky’s wife, Sophia, and some of the streets were named after his children Toby, Gerty, Bertha and Victoria.”
One of the tour guides, a local resident by the name of Victor Mokhine, gave an in depth history about the forced removals that began in the year 1950’s, what it was like living in those days, the culture, the music and of course harsh conditions people were faced with because of such removals.
One of Kurt Solomon’s highlight was visiting the house of Dr Xuma.
“It was super interesting for me to visit Dr Xuma’s (The first black PhD recipient? (USA & UK)). It was in his home that a young Madiba came to argue for the formation of the ANCYL together with Steve Biko, Walter Sisulu and others.We also got to visit the room where music greats like Miriam Makeba, The Manhatten brothers and Hugh Masikela used to hone their craft”
“It was fantastic to learn from our past to help us manage the present & influence our future” commented Carel Nolte, who also visited the area.
Meeting the locals and embracing the rich history made for an epic morning. It was surprising that such an important part of our country’s history is only a couple of kilometers from our very offices. Before too much is given away, both Kurt and Carel recommend the tour.
Sophiatown the mix offers tours daily, Monday – Saturday as well as Jazz nights’ on the last Friday of the month. For more details check out their website http://sophiatownthemix.com/tag/sophiatown/, their Facebook page Sophiatown Heritage Centre Sophiatown the Mix! or give them a call on 011 673 1271.
- Sophiatown The Mix