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STREET STYLE


FOUR ICONS; THREE LEGENDS; TWO NOBEL LAUREATES; ONE STREET…


That’s Vilakazi Street, probably the most famous street not only in the bustling township of Soweto, but in the whole of Africa.


Why? Because former President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu both lived here. And the third legend? Dr BW Vilakazi, after whom the street’s named. A poet, novelist and intellectual, he wrote in numerous indigenous languages and


was also the first black man to teach at the University of the Witwatersrand.


After obtaining his PhD in literature, he helped develop the written form of both isiZulu and siSwati, and also assisted in compiling the isiZulu dictionary. Today Vilakazi Street is a popular


destination for local and international visitors. You can spend a few hours here, starting with a visit to the


Mandela House Museum, where you can immerse yourself in Madiba’s life pre-Robben Island and subsequent Presidency. It houses memorabilia, artworks, awards and photographs. Further down, pop into one of the


popular restaurants, cafés or bars for a vibey meal. Close by is the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, dedicated to the victims of the 1976


Soweto riots. Visit: www.gauteng.net And the fourth icon? The Toyota


Corolla, of course – Soweto’s and SA’s most popular car, with more than 1,2 million built locally since 1975.


CRUISING VILAKAZI STREET 39


WORDS: FERDI DE VOS. PHOTOGRAPHER: SHAUN MALLETT


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