Guest Post by Ann Patras: Life in Fourways in the 1990s

When we first visited Joburg in 2009, our relocation agent proudly showed us around the area we had picked to live in. It soon became clear to us that everything pretty much revolved around Fourways. Shopping, restaurants, the fabled Montecasino, doctors’ offices, a cinema – all of it was clustered around a large and busy intersection teeming with cars, minibus taxis, pedestrians, and street vendors. It was like a village of its own.   

I remember feeling surprised when learning that it hadn’t always been that way. Fourways, in fact, had gotten its name by virtue of its original function as a simple fourway stop, out in the boonies where two one-lane country roads met. If I now say, for ...  Continue Reading

Koeksister Who?

A brief explanation about the demographics of South Africa:

Based on the latest census in 2011, roughly 9% of South Africa’s population is white. Within that group, about 61% are Afrikaans speakers, 36% are English speakers, and the remaining 3% speak other languages such as Portuguese.

A good ...  Continue Reading

The Right Papers

Apartheid is a word you will have heard almost immediately upon moving to South Africa, or perhaps even earlier. It is of Afrikaans origin and means, roughly, the separation and classification of people according to race. It’s a term inextricably linked with ...  Continue Reading

English. But not from England.

“So you’re raising your children English?”
“Yes, my husband is English.”

I overheard above conversation some time ago while I was waiting, along with other mothers, for our children to perform in a public speaking contest Dainfern College was participating in.

My ears perked ...  Continue Reading

The Covenant

Recently, I told you to watch White Wedding if you’d like to get a feel for South Africa and its culture.

But perhaps you’d like to dig a bit deeper and learn something about its history as well?

Many many years ago, when I still had the stamina to read books of a thousand and more pages, ...  Continue Reading