There’s magic about Braamfontien (Braam) that is just so infectious, something about the energy you have once you are in Braam.
Braam has a way of making you feel alive, an energy that makes you feel like you are a part of something bigger. That is such an amazing feeling.
I remember my first encounter with Braam, I was 18 and fresh in the city.
It was my 1st year in varsity and I was blown away by the amount of life and hustle going on every street corner and turn, people from all different walks of life, this Braam wasn’t the Braam a lot of us have come to love today.
It was still in the early days of being transformed as part of the plan to bring people back into the inner-city and turn it into a young hip and vibrant area filled with art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, theatres, the modern hub for the modern hipster.
I had always experienced Braam during the day for a few hours and not actually spent the entire day there.
So with my recent trip to fashion week earlier this year I decided I’m going spend one of those nights in Braam.
I wasn’t sure where and how but I was going to spend a night there and fate would lead me there on my first night.
I arrived in Johannesburg (Joburg) on the Intercape, at Park Station around 5:30pm and had to rush to Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton for my first show which was at 6:30.
I rushed straight to the Gautrain Station, luckily I didn’t have to wait long for the next train ( there is a point to this story).
On my way to Sandton I sent my friend a text, telling her to pick me up at the Nelson Mandela Square at 10pm – I was staying with her for my week in Joburg.
It’s a wrap on day one and it’s time for me to go home but my friend still hasn’t called and her phone is off.
A friends of mine who I was with at fashion week offered to drive me where I needed to go because it was getting late.
I was getting a bit annoyed and worried, “like where am I going to go?”.
I suggest to her Melville and hopefully find a backpackers there and sort everything out in the morning.
Truth be told, Liquid Blue was on my mind and Melville was perfect, I could just walk there have a good time and walk right back home however that did not work out.
Fortunately or unfortunately all the backpackers in the area where fully booked and I was bawling on a budget.
We decide to go to Braam and check the Banister Hotel, to my luck there was plenty of space.
It is around 11pm now and the Braam streets are alive with people getting their party on and I was home haha.
I looked over at Great Dane and The Banister Bar and they were both on point so I got my room put my bags down and headed straight to the Banister Bar for pre drinks and a confidence boost before I hit Great Dane.
As I get to the bar I run into one of my friends who I hadn’t seen in a long time and tells me we should go to Kitcheners because he is with everyone we used to hang out with back in University and
That sounded like an excuse for me to go have a ginger craft beer (Kitcheners has some amazing craft beer) and they always have great music,
At this point there is just something about the atmosphere, energising me and I realise it’s Braam energy and how toxic it is.
A photo posted by Great Dane (@greatdanebar) on
We spend an hour at kitcheners then head over to Great Dane where I am told I look underage and must produce ID, this hasn’t happened to me in years so we all laugh about it I give them my ID and we are in Dane.
The vibe is right, its cloudy and the music is out of this world – I cant believe how much fun I am actually having for a night that wasn’t planned, next thing we know it is 5 in the morning and no one wants to go to sleep.
One of my friends suggests we go find a place to buy quarts (Ngud’u) and everyone breaks out into the Kwesta song.
We then proceed to his apartment in Braam and head to the roof top and as soon as we got there the sun is starting to rise.
It was one of the most amazing sunrises I had ever seen and one of the most amazing moments of my life.
One got to see Jozi transform from the city of lights into an urban concrete jungle and it was pure magic.
By this time I am a bit exhausted, I have a whole day ahead of me so, I decide to head back to the Banister to freshen up nap and check out to start my day.
I wake up after an hour, its around 10am and It is time to sort myself out, get in contact with my friends and sort out my life.
One of my friends then calls me for coffee at Love Food and that is exactly what I needed after the night.
I had a pick me up and a catch up, after our coffee we decide to head over to Neighbourgoods Market for some food and a few drinks.
It was a beautiful day after all overcast, so some food and a cocktail was in order.
It is said the best remedy for a hangover is to do it all over again right.
After the market we headed over to the Joburg Theatre for a discussion on being a young African means to us whether black or white and what challenges we face as young Africans where one of my friends was talking.
It’s around 5pm now and it’s time to go for my fitting for day to of fashion week and I couldn’t be happier about the last couple hours I had been through in Braam.
It showed me the diversity of the inner city, there is so much life and so much to do then just go to the Market then head back to your existence,.
Braam has a culture out of this world and it brings people from all walks of life together as one and that is what we need as a people, especially during the times we are going through.
Report by: Kgosi Sethoko