Many questions rise once I start introducing myself and telling people where I come from. I have been asked all sorts of questions from “Do you know Mzambiya? (the Kwaito star)” to “Is Zola7 your neighbour?” Like any other child in Zola, growing up with my friends we listened to Kwaito music and played in what used to be dusty streets. We would spend enormous time skipping ropes, playing tin games and only remembered we had homes when hunger snuck in.
Although Zola is known for its high crime rate in Soweto, I personally have not experienced any of the crimes that are usually talked about. Maybe I was just too young to notice anything when I was growing up. Over the years the place has enormously changed; most streets are now tarred, most if not all parks have been renovated, and the houses have more or less remained the same. Some houses have improved from what was known as the “match box” houses in the times of the apartheid government.
Less than one kilometre away lies the coolest mall, Jabulani mall which was opened in 2006. The mall has over 100 stores and has managed to bridge the gap between the middle classes who reside in Zola-Mndeni to the high classes who reside in the urban flats of Jabulani heights. Just after Jabulani mall is the Soweto theatre which doesn’t only open its doors to drama and dance fanatics, but it also holds Arts and Craft exhibitions every first week of every month.
As you all know that Zola cannot be part of Soweto unless you can find the most convenient bunny chow spot. Just around my home is a tuck shop that sells the most delicious bunny chows from as little as R3.50. Coming from a bunny chow fanatic, believe me when I say they are not only filling, but also the most delicious you can find.