Why Johannesburg is loved by 'hustlers' who now call it home

South Africa's biggest city, Johannesburg, has become home to many people from many diverse countries since the 19th century when it was founded as a gold-mining settlement.

Eusebius McKaiser hosts journalist and author Niq Mhlongo, film critic Hugh Fraser, and writer and musician, Danielle Bowler as they share their fond memories and relationships with the City of Gold.

Mhlongo says the heart of Johannesburg is where people live.

Anybody who hasn't walked through Small Street or taxi ranks has never been to Joburg.

Niq Mhlongo, journalist and author

Fraser says the fact most people came to the city to seek work and opportunities is what makes it different.

We're here for one reason alone, first for gold now to work. And all we have got is each other. So, that's what makes the city the gritty reality that it is.

Hugh Fraser, film critic

Bowler says there is so much happening in the city that people don't know about.

She notes that people's experiences tend to depend on their privilege and luck.

In Johannesburg, if you are lucky enough, you can choose your own adventure.

Danielle Bowler, writer and musician

There is no real very prescriptive narrative in a way I feel in Cape Town.

Danielle Bowler, writer and musician

I feel like if you are on different streets in Johannesburg in the same space, you can have a very different experience of it.

Danielle Bowler, writer and musician

Listeners called in and shared nostalgic memories of places like Braamfontein, Yeoville and Coronationville in the 1970s and 80s.

It was often the only place that black and white South Africans came together to share music at some of the famous night spots during the apartheid era.

Listen to the audio below for more insights...

See some of the tweets from listeners below...


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