Patta in South Africa Part 1

It's been quite a while since we last visited Johannesburg, South Africa and I couldn't wait to return to see old friends and meet new ones. And so it began… Amsterdam, Monday morning, September 27. Great, our flight is heavily overbooked. While Edson got blessed with a very last minute seat, I wasn't that lucky. I got bumped to the next flight in the evening with a lengthy stopover at Paris Charles De Gaulle to match. An upgrade, a reimbursement, two thirds of "Kasher in the Rye" and 15 hours later, I finally touched down after a false start and greeted my requested driver in the O.R. Tambo arrival hall. Keke was our designated driver during STR.CRD 2011 (blogpost HERE) and I wanted to make sure I got to catch up with him and hear how life's been.

This time around most of the international STR.CRD guests (including Lee (BBB), Jesse Boykins III, Melo-X, Woo, Claw Money, Matheus (Mutta Shoes), Yu-Ming (Freshnessmag, Sneakernews), Wendy (Nitrolicious) and Frederick (3680 Photography) & Chinere) stayed at the Melvilla Guest House in the Melville area, while Edson, Joey (BBB) and Mayra (BBB) stayed in the hip Illovo area. Hostess Eleanor and her staff took great care of us during our stay and all in all it was a more laidback and sociable experience as opposed to staying secluded at some bougie hotel. Melvilla is a beautiful and pleasant boutique guest house in provincial style. Definitely recommended if you plan to visit Johannesburg. By the time I got there, all the guests were already on their way out to explore the city, so I refreshed myself from the long flight and got as much wifi-time in as possible before my pick-up arrived in the evening.

We had a nice evening dinner with all the guests at At the Table, a creative space for people to meet, share ideas and most importantly, eat good and as much as possible. We also got to connect with the great 2012 STR.CRD staff and discuss the days to come at the event and daily activities.

The next day was my real first day, and while most of the guests went on the first timer-tour, we headed down to the Apartheid Museum with the rest of the crew and our good friend Wireless G, DJ and street mayor of Soweto. It was every bit as impressive as the first time and I'm glad I got to absorb some more information I missed last time. You'll need a good 2 to 3 hours to take it all in, and even though it's very confronting, it's valuable lessons and definitely all worth it.

Back at the Maboneng Precinct we hit up OPEN, a nice creative space which doubled as STR.CRD office and media space for a couple of days. Here, interviews were conducted, photographs were taken, videos were shot, indoor golf was played and wifi got abused. Ed and I did some press here about Patta and would return later to speak at the TEDxJozi Seminar. Each one of us also received a Lumia 800 phone from office to stay connected with one another, courtesy of the kind people at Nokia SA. Too bad I drained the preloaded data credit within 15 minutes. That's how I do. We went on and and had some drinks, checked out Jesse Boykins' pre-performance and called it the night due to the cold night temperature. I know some of you bastards snuck off to Braamfontein to hit up Kitcheners though…

Of course we had to head down to Soweto and hit up our homie Wandile at Thesis to check out what's happening at the Lifestyle Space and peep the new gear. We bumped into Sanele from Tempracha who was on his way to the event, so he rode along before we headed back to the city. Check for him, he got next…

Lee's bungee jump at the Orlando Towers fell through (too windy and underweight), instead he got himself a roadside haircut, which in a way, is almost as adventurous. Lil' homie was dying laughing when the alcohol was applied…

Continue to Part 2

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