Sunday World

The evolution of excellence in townships

The stories of night life are being retold

- By Boitumelo Kgobotlo and Mbalenhle Zuma

Atownship is historical­ly considered an unadorned residentia­l area designated for the black community, but the stories of these undermined settings are being retold.

Sitting on crates listening to low quality sounds while sipping on the cheapest beer available at a so-called bar is being upgraded and is no longer considered an exciting night life in the hood.

There has been an increasing number of high-end restaurant­s and pubs in the black middle-to-upper class spaces notably Brima Café in Daveyton, Max’s Lifestyle in Umlazi, Durban, Konka in Soweto and now Gravity Lifestyle in Munsievill­e, west of Joburg.

Sunday World visited Gravity Lifestyle and Max’s Lifestyle to zoom into how township night life has evolved.

The double-storey Gravity Lifestyle situated at the back of the Munsievill­e taxi rank, is a force attracting the community to the heart of ekasi.

It has hosted major artists such as DJ Maphorisa, Lamiez Holworthy, Young Stunna, DBN Gogo and Daliwonga, among some of the industry’s big names.

The recently launched establishm­ent introduces you to your table waitress on arrival. Although every space looks and feels like a VIP area, we were surprised to be led to what was considered the actual VIP area.

Drinks and food would be expected to cost a lot but they were surprising­ly reasonable in comparison, with a considerab­ly expensive six pack costing R132 and the most expensive bottle at the bar, Remy Martin 1738, selling for R1799.

The place’s manager, Thage Phasha, said it was built to eradicate poverty in the township and to attract both the affluent businesspe­ople and ordinary members of the community looking to have good food and a nice time.

“We do not consider the establishm­ent as a billionair­e’s den. This was built that most of our rich black brothers and sisters come from the townships and honestly want to come back to the townships and have their fun. On the other hand, we thought this would be a beautiful place where people still living in this community would network and experience the life expected in suburbs in their hometown,” said Phasha.

He said people would also come through in their most expensive clothing but this was not considered as, flaunting their wealth but as a motivation to those who have the same taste but with less funds to build and maintain the lifestyle.

Gravity Lifestyle is the brainchild of Phasha, Eric Moatshe and Anthony Dibakwane who all have experience in event management. They successful­ly hosted star-studded events and brought internatio­nal acts such as Kenny Latimore to Mzansi.

In Kwazulu-natal, Max’s Lifestyle in the bustling Umlazi township is well known for its unmatched experience.

The establishm­ent specialise­s in braai or grilled meat and in African traditiona­l food. Diners enjoy the restaurant’s traditiona­l meals featuring braai meat with traditiona­l side dishes such as umgxabhiso (tripe), amadombolo (dumplings) and ujeqe (steamed bread).

Over the years, business mogul Max Mqadi, the co-founder and owner, has managed to upgrade the establishm­ent. Mqadi is one of the pioneers of township tourism in the city of Durban and his eatery draws visitors from all over the world.

The establishm­ent now hosts functions for private companies and more tourists are visiting the spot. Though it is deep in the township of Umlazi, you still feel as if you are in a hip and happening place such as Umhlanga or Florida Road.

The venue is a popular choice for year-end functions, weddings, baby-showers, spa and product launches. Many of the customers enjoy being entertaine­d by top DJS.

 ?? ?? Brima Café in Daveyton is where local peeps like to hang out.
Brima Café in Daveyton is where local peeps like to hang out.
 ?? ?? Gravity Lifestyle is situated at the back of Munsievill­e taxi rank, west of Johannesbu­rg.
Gravity Lifestyle is situated at the back of Munsievill­e taxi rank, west of Johannesbu­rg.
 ?? ?? Max’s Lifestyle in Umlazi, north of Durban is one of the hotspots in the city.
Max’s Lifestyle in Umlazi, north of Durban is one of the hotspots in the city.

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