Friday, April 25, 2008

Hillbrow Vibes

Having arrived in Johannesburg on Monday, I have thus far found the city, despite its significant social ills, to be a vibrant, dynamic face of the mosaic that is modern day South Africa, and, as such, much to my liking. Glorious, crisp clear fall weather has complimented exploring nicely. After the ceaseless grind of Kinshasa, the restaurants, bookstores, good roads and ability to speak English are also welcomed breaks. Yesterday was an opportunity to dine with a colleague from the Inter Press Service and discuss international coverage of Africa and other issues, and today I will begin to wade into the situation of Zimbabwean exile politics and the treatment of Zimbabwean refugees by the government here. And hopefully a visit to House of Nsako will find it's way into the mix, as well.

Author's note: The title of this post is a naked steal from the opening song to the album Rhythm in Blue by the great T.K. Blue, referring as it does to the Jozi neighborhood of the same name. I first saw T.K. play with Randy Weston in New York a few years back, and later became friendly with him after seeing him play at a Darfur benefit concert. The album in question is a bracing tour of African and Caribbean rhythms in a modern jazz setting, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the genre.

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