A local’s guide to Johannesburg
- By Pumza Fihlani
- Photos by Gulshan Khan
Affectionately known as eGoli, or “the city of gold” because of the gold rush in the late 1800s, Johannesburg has evolved to much more than a small mining town. It’s one of South Africa’s largest cities and home to skyscrapers, award-winning restaurants and expensive real estate. The allure of Johannesburg, or Jozi for short, is unmistakable. It’s where many ambitious South Africans try their luck at starting a company, launching a musical career, getting into the arts or even politics. The energy truly makes it feel like anything is possible. It’s a dazzling blend of cultures, nationalities and languages. Here you can sample local dishes, shop at designer outlets and see wildlife at a nature reserve. Keep an open mind, but keep your wits about you, and you’re sure to discover something unforgettable.
Meet Pumza Fihlani
Pumza has lived in Johannesburg since 2006. She describes herself as a small town girl, having grown up in Mthatha, South Africa, in the countryside. She moved to the city as an intern, fell in love with its lights and never left. She loves city life but misses the clear night sky in the Eastern Cape province — and the sense of community there.
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Explore more of Johannesburg
- There are 11 official languages in South Africa, and you’re likely to find all of them here — learning the basics of the Zulu language, even just a greeting, will win you favor.
- Explore the city’s many wonders, but have your wits about you. It’s best to leave your family heirlooms and diamonds at home.
- If you get an opportunity to dance, do it. Anywhere. Trying your hand at a local dance is the best way to have fun in Johannesburg.