Monday, 1 June 2015

Reasons why Jozi is a Great City to Live In

Amidst the crime, political scandals and electricity shortages, sometimes living in Johannesburg can be stressful.

This is when we need to remind ourselves about all the reasons why Jozi is actually a really amazing, unique and overall great place to live.

jozi mzansi CBD

Here are some things to put all the doom and gloom of living in this city in perspective.
1. We have great weather. We have sun almost all year round and it does not get too hot, too cold or too humid- except for maybe a cold month or two around June or July, when we like to drive to warmer, beachy Durban to thaw out.

2. The spectacular mix of people- 'local' South Africans already present a melting pot of cultures. In Jozi, you have all these different people plus you have people from all over Africa and the rest of the world all combined to create this dynamic and vibrant city. You will hear hundreds of languages and encounter every type of person imaginable and find the ultimate fusion of art, culture, fashion, lifestyle, religion and everything else.

3. For a big city, it is really green. Most people live in free standing homes rather than apartments like other big cities and there are plenty of green parks and dams within the city. Green trees line suburban streets, which get blanketed with purple jacaranda flowers in spring. While the townships are less 'green', they have their own vibrant beauty and colour. Despite common perceptions abroad, we do not have lions in our gardens but if you really want to get back to nature, it just takes an hour or two's drive to encounter the bush and the big five.

4. It is the city of gold. Everyone loves gold, right? The city was literally founded on gold and continues to be the wealthiest city in the sense that salaries are typically higher than across the rest of the country. People dream big here and a lucky few realise these dreams.

5. It is a shopper's paradise. From upmarket malls like Sandton City where you can find the world's most exclusive brands, to shopping from informal traders on the street corners (yes, you really can do your shopping at your nearest traffic light without leaving your car), we have it all.

6. The history- not so long ago this is where great people like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi have made their marks and going even further back, this is where some of the oldest archeological finds were made. From old mining and apartheid relics to Khoi San rock art and fossils, this is a historian's dream.

7. Our tap water is drinkable, of a good quality and tastes so good. This is something we tend to take for granted but a trip overseas to a place where bottled water is the only option is a quick reminder of this.

8. Geological stability- we are not particularly prone to earthquakes, fires, tornadoes or any of that freaky stuff.

9. The energy- the city is always abuzz and there is always something exciting happening. In the business place, things seem more active and productive than in other South African cities and on the social front, there is something for everyone.

10. Anything goes and everyone will find a space somewhere that they fit in. There is freedom of religion (I can wear a headscarf should I so chose without being unfairly labeled as a terrorist) and freedom of expression.