Township take-aways

I was going through some older photos of mine and came across this one I took in New Brighton a while back.  This lady sells roosterkoek and vetkoek from a container near the Red Location Museum (which is currently still closed) and when I worked for Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and got to go to the museum often I always stopped here from either.  About 5 years back she used to sell the roosterkoek for R1.50 plain and R1.80 buttered.  The mini verkoek was only 20c each and the local kids would come with R1 or R2 and walk away with a hand full.  Writing this my mouth is actually watering and I’m wondering if she’s still there.

Liberation Struggle Heritage Tour – Nelson Mandela Bay

Township tours are very popular with international tourist visiting our beautiful city but its not really something many locals go on.  I’ve had the opportunity to explore the townships on a few occations in the past and with a variety of guides and I have to say that it is something every South African should do at least once.  Especially white South Africans.  One of the local guides offering township tours is Sithembiso Geoff Foster of Ezethu Tours.  Sithembiso grew up and worked in the townships all his life and will give first hand information of what goes on there.  One of his tours is the Liberation Struggle Heritage Tour which covers a lot of the sites and important events took place in Port Elizabeth in the early years as well as in the build up to South Africa’s democracy.  Today’s video is one I found that was shot during one of his tours.

Garden services at rest

With the Walmer Township so close to the airport it’s nothing strange to see cattle or goats grazing in the area around 3rd Avenue and Allister Miller Drive.  Normally, in between people complaining about it, there are jokes about the garden services at work.  Natural garden services that is often more effective than the municipality when it comes to maintaining some open spaces.  Last week I had to drop something off at the airport and found the goats taking a break from their verge maintenance duties.

Buying meat at Chilleks Place

Chilleks Place in Walmer Township won the Nando’s Shisa Nyama Championship in October last year with some exceptional braai’ing and flavouring.  It’s maybe not as well known as the big Shisa Nyamas in Cape Town or Soweto, but the quality of their braai is right up there.  Before manager Coach and braai master Scott or any braaiers braai your meat, you actually get to choose it from the butchery on the premises (unless you order one of their mouth watering baskets).  In the butchery Pabalwa and Siphosethu will help you select your meat, chicken and wors and while its being braai’d you can head next door and order a quarts beer so long to wash it down with.

Shisa Nyama at Chilleks

The word shisa nyama means burned meat in Zulu and a Shisa Nyama refers to a township restaurant or tavern where they serve mainly braaivleis (barbequed meat for those who don’t know what a braai is).  In most case the Shisa Nyama will have a butchery attached to it so you have a choice of ordering whatever off the menu or choose your meat from the fridge before it gets braai’d by the establishment’s braaimaster for you. Everybody knows Shisa Nyamas like Mzoli’s Place in Cape Town, Panyaza in Soweto and Max’s in Durban, but at the recent Nando’s Shisa Nyama Championship a Port Elizabeth establishment kicked dust in all the big boys eyes, walking away with the honours.  I’ve been to Chilleks in Walmer Township a couple of times before and I can vouch for their food.  These guys know how to braai.  They may not be as big or busy as Mzoli’s but you are assured of getting good shisa nyama.  My last visit was with a group of travel bloggers and on our menu was lamb and pork chops with their magic basting, chicken wings, tomato boerewors (sausage), pap, chakalaka (a South African vegetable relish, usually spicy) and chips, washed down with a couple of quarts beer.  I will be back soon.

Liver, onions and roosterkoek

I feel like a typical township lunch of liver, onions and roosterkoek today and decided to go and dig out this picture I have posted previously on The Firefly Photo Files.  A couple of us ventured to a township eatery a little while ago under the guidance of one of my black colleagues.  He knows all the best spots and took us for a scrumptious lunch of beef stew followed by liver and onions served with roosterkoek and ice cold Coca-Cola.  I wish I could get more white South Africans to go and experience a township lunch because I’m sure a lot of them will really enjoy the experience.  Read about our lunch.

Butcher at work

You get to see the most interesting and unusual sights when visiting the townships.  Well interesting and unusual sights for those of us who don’t live in the township because for the inhabitants its everyday sights.  Like this sight of an informal butcher working from an roadside shack hacking open a cow skull with an axe.  I took this picture on a trip with an Argentinean journalist a little while ago and posted it on The Firefly Photo Files, but would like to share it with you as well.  We were both amazed at the sight and snapped away, with bone shards flying all around us, as he worked.

Traditional medicines

Tourists visiting the Port Elizabeth townships are always amazed at the ladies selling traditional medicines and remedies in Njoli Square.  They items they sell covers everything from cures for common ailments to little bundles of what is commonly known as Bushman’s bedding which is burned to chase evil spirits away.  There is even a drink to strengthen your … Lets just call it a natural Viagra drink.