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08/30/2011

Mzoli's: Township Style

South Africa's social landscape changes from place to place: there are the extremely rich and affluent areas, small seaside towns that could be out of any postcard (and most often are), there middle to upper class neighbourhoods with kids riding bicycles up and down the street and there are of course, the poorer areas where the streets are made of broken concrete housing materials are scavenged from any available resources. 

These less affluent areas of Cape Town are reare explored or interacted with to a large extent. Their distance from the main city centres as well as the stereotype that accompanies them renders them inaccessible to tourists and most locals alike. All in all, there are very few opportunities for most people to get some experiece of township life. Enter Mzoli's.

Located in Gugulethu, Mzoli's is a restaurant (but not) that has gained the reputation of being the best braaihouse in the Western Cape (if not the country). From the sight of it, it is no more than a small brick house with six large fireplaces where meat is braaid. It is more than this though - it is one of the few places where the different cultures of Cape Town, whether affluent or not can mix freely. The combination of food, music and lively entertainment provide an environment that all Cape Townians descend upon on Sundays. Nursery House's excursion to Mzoli's proved to be an exciting affair, rich in experience and pleasantl heavy on the gluttony.

For many of the students, it was the first time that they had gone to Mzoli's - the bus ride there took them out of the comfortable and familiar surroundings of Rondebosch and took them to a place where the normal amenities of life (their quantity and quality) were luxuries. Walking around Mzoli's exposed many of the students to how other Cape Townians, who are not as privileged as them, live. Though there are numerous social commentaries that could be made about Mzoli's, it is the relaxed and perpetual party atmosphere of the place that makes it memorable despite its surroundings. 

Nursery House's outing to Mzoli's was just another adventure that the students on the Cape Town Fall Program will remember for the rest of their lives. 

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