The Alluring and Artistic Sight of Maboneng and Downtown, Johannesburg, South Africa
Our most recent visit to South Africa takes us to the neighborhoods of Maboneng and Downtown Joburg. These two places define the excitement of our graffiti walking tour of Johannesburg. These neighborhoods have tons of colorful murals and an extraordinary mix of interesting architecture. But, again, the messages are uniquely present and appreciated. Here are some images for your pleasure, and I hope they give you a little inspiration.
The Street Art
Walking across the street of Maboneng, it is hard not to be in awe of the paintings on the wall. Many striking pieces are commenting on the social and cultural essence of the city and nation at large. While some try to relive memories, others are contemporary happenings that are creatively portrayed. At the other extreme, many pictures condemn in the strongest terms the ills of society. The murals have defined the distinctiveness of the growing neighborhood into the destination of tourists and art lovers. The color, aura, and flair that the city brings are largely thanks to the murals and its rich architectural history. You will always be something to look at while walking the streets.
Dynamics of Tourism
Local tourism in Johannesburg is evolving towards street art appreciation. Many local public places are progressively interested in street drawings that generate tourism to downtown areas. For instance, local businesses in Maboneng are incorporating street bike rides and different inner-city tours into their services. Interestingly, bike rides offer one of the best ways to appreciate the city without missing anything. One of the best bike guides in town is Kennedy Tembo, for our tour he left his bike at home and took us on a walking tour of Joburg.
Local and International Art Recognition
The recent appreciation of street art in Johannesburg has made local and international artists flock to the street to find inspiration. More and more local artists are gaining recognition, and the international ones are making their mark. On the Betty Fox Warehouse wall lies this “Betty Fox,” on Betty Street, Maboneng. This is a popular Artist, Falko, who has worked with brands such as Adidas, MTV and responsible for the backdrop of Nelson Mandela’s 79th birthday. A team of local artists in 2020 created a series of short films dedicated to the creativity of the street artists who designed the hundreds of colorful murals that made Maboneng a great spectacle.
The Iconic Pieces
Generally, South Africa revers its most cherished leader in history, nicknamed Madiba. The iconic late President and fighter are immortalized by many paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Maboneng will give you a feel of who Nelson Mandela was to his people.
The Jewel City Precinct
The Jewel City Precinct is a massive development area of Maboneng. The redevelopment taking place has turned the inner-city into a thriving modern neighborhood for settlement and fun. Arranged in 6 Blocks, the City has two residential areas, a commercial area and an office area. A parking area and another area for School & football also part of the neighborhood. This remodeled precinct brings to life the true meaning of neighborliness. The heart of the inclusive and fully pedestrianized Jewel City is a vibrant public space to converge and enliven live-work-play relationships. Decked with unique structures and eye-catching drawings, the City is a complete living package, working, business, leisure, shopping, and pleasure.
The Relaxation Areas
With the blend of old and modern-day living, there is no shortage of cafes, galleries, hotels, and restaurants. The relaxation areas are creatively full of natural ambiance and artistic flavor. The artistry of the restaurants and public places is top-notch. The mood is thoroughly relaxing and fun. The walls, floor, ceiling, furniture, and decor are all engaging pieces to behold and admire. This is simply creativity at its peak.
There are many jaw-dropping structures in Maboneng. The neighborhood is evolving into a modern city that houses the best of structural designs and aesthetics. Interestingly, existing structures are being remodeled to suit appeal and meet the standards of a contemporary precinct.
This graffiti walking tour of Johannesburg and the amazing collection of building from distinct architectural eras will live forever in your memory and make you crave for a return to Maboneng, Johannesburg. We for sure can’t wait to return and further explore Johannesburg.