Bridget Madiba

Ever heard of Juta Street? If not, allow me to enlighten you. Juta Street is located in the student village of Braamfontein; it has been dubbed by the local community as being the “ultimate host of vibrancy and social experience”. For many years Braamfontein or “Braam” as it is more commonly known, has been renowned for modest living, a characteristic synonymous with student towns. However, Braam has recently undergone drastic reconstruction to better accommodate the ever-growing multicultural population.

This transformation has introduced a multitude of unique hangouts, chief among them, the Neighbourgoods Market – a lively flea-market setting with a vibe very uncharacteristic of mainstream Braamfontein.

Located on 73 Juta Street, Neighbourgoods takes place every Saturday from 9am till 3pm. Rife with social and economic enthusiasm, it is both a place of business as well as a space to build and strengthen social relationships over an exotic dish and drink.

Upon entrance, I felt as though I’d walked into a microcosm of the rainbow-nation that is South Africa – an environment that offered a variety of choices catering to the individual tastes of a diverse society

If you’re a foodie, you need not look further than Neighbourgoods,offering a diverse range of food from Indian curry and Argentinian dishes to pizza with a home-made spin. It’ssafe to say there’s something to suit every taste bud. What made Neighbourgoods an amazing experience for me was watching my food being prepared right in front of me! I’m sure if you pay close attention you could easily replicate the meals at home.

As much as I enjoyed my visit to Neighbourgoods I was curious to find out what made it appealing to other patrons.

Charles Ackroyd, a middle-aged man awaiting his pink drink (yes! males can purchase pink drinks and not be judged for it), expressed that he was obsessed with environments populated by happy people from all walks of life. Keshana Moodley (24) stated “you feel like you’re in another country, another world actually. People are so full of joy”. Dumisane, Sizwe and Teballo, three young men in their mid-twenties said that Neighbourgoods is very much a hunting ground for them. “There are a lot of hot girls here” uttered Teballo shyly. “The music is incredible too. You can’t go wrong with good music, good food and beautiful girls. It’s better than a club” added Dumisane.

I also had the opportunity to converse with Gideon Naude (31), owner of Unison Movement, a fairly new business specializing in bags, wallets and belts. He relayed the concept behind his products, which is centered on bringing different types of people together through material things, hence the name Unison. “I like to expose my products to a wide demographic. My products celebrate diversity of culture and are physically created in such a way that they carry the symbolism of things coming together”.

And that, my friends, is what the Neighbourgoods Market is all about – fresh ideas, quality products, great food, good music, and diverse personalities. It is the perfect weekend spot to meet new people, build and strengthen relationships with friends and family. So come rain or shine, make a date with 73 Juta Street. It might just be the best decision you make this year.


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