A few days after we in the Johannesburg PULSE teams settled in, we were eager to visit the city and experience the diversity of cultures Joburg has to offer. We met the Field Band staff at the Pulse conference at Indaba hotel the same week and were luckyenough to be invited to a traditional Sunday braai (barbecue) with a performing DJ at Joes Butchery in the middle of the Alexandra Township, an opportunity we were glad to take.
We met our Field Band friend Emmanuel at his resident in Alex; a complex were the goodhearted mr.Twala provides free food to kids in the local community donated by a nearby hotel. The complex was crowded and we got welcoming hugs and smiles from the kids and the adults invited us into the kitchen and showed us how they prepared the food. I was also invited to sit down with the elder men that offered me their traditional homebrewed beer that we shared from a bucket; an honor to me and a new experience for my taste buds…
We drove thru the busy streets of Alex together with Emmanuel and ended up at a local butcher where the braai was held. We could hear the music from the DJ even before we opened the car doors and we saw the smoke from the grill rising up from the ally. The sound system was huge compered to the space in the tent but the RnB music from the DJ really made the atmosphere. The place had a great variety of meat that we selected at counter and handed to the grill chef who prepared it perfectly for us. South Africans truly know how to grill their meat! They served the meat together with pap and chakalaka; traditional braai siders. It was a new experience for us Norwegians not to get any tableware but to eat with our fingers only. To rip the meat from the bones and mix pap with chakalaka with my hands gave the experience of eating another perspective and when I got used to it, it felt some how natural. Glad I brought Norwegian AntiBac!
The Township of Alex gave me a really good impression and I swear to the traditional Sunday braai already.
Written by Vemund Strand Aspeggen