One of my favourite things to do on a Saturday night is visit Fordsburg.
This area is the centre of the Indian community in the Johannesburg Inner City and is home to people of many different cultures and religions.
My company Past Experiences has a tour called “Spicy Fordsburg” which is an evening tour of the area, its history, culture, food and Public Art. This takes place every few months at a budget rate for locals but I myself must have my “Fordsburg Fix” every few weeks.
If you have not been to Fordsburg yet, let me paint you a picture as it is a total sensory overload of sight, sound, smell and taste! The noise of Fordsburg will lure you in as soon as you step out of your car, from a blaring Bollywood Soundtrack to stall owners flouting their wares in many different languages. Imagine rich, deep colours intermingled with gold and silver, cloth, sari’s, scarves and intricate gold jewellery from Dubai. The smells are diverse, heavy scented perfume oils mix with spices from the many different restaurants, cafes and stalls. With all these fantastic smells, you cannot help but want to sample some of the delicious treats on offer from zingy market food, to the most delicious delicate sweet treats and fresh coconut milk in its shell. You would not believe you are just a few kilometres from the Joburg CBD.
Local Joburgers often make a trip to the Oriental Plaza, to buy material and samoosas but they do not venture into the rest of the suburb. Although I love the Plaza, it really is the rest of Fordsburg that keeps me coming back for more!
The best time to visit Fordsburg is on a Saturday night when it is home to a fantastic weekly night market where you can sample the most amazing market food, buy stunning costume jewellery, browse through the eastern clothing, choose your own spices and chat with the locals. My advice is to not fill up on all the market food (very difficult as it is fabulous) and try one of the area’s fantastic restaurants. Following dinner, the ladies should pop into one of the local salons and have their eyebrows threaded (I’m a convert and get mine done fortnightly) and the gentleman must have an old fashioned shave.
After the entire Fordsburg experience you will soon become a regular visitor.
Fordsburg Night Market
Mint Road, Fordsburg
All Images taken by Tania Olsson