The south western township of South Africa (SOWETO) has for a long time been entrenched in this South Africa’s road to freedom. As you drive in to Soweto it is hard not to notice the past that our country has emerged from, tin shanties surrounded by emerging developments draped with reminders of South Africa’s political past still seen in some of the graffiti that line building walls.
Driving casually into Soweto taking in the scenery, I found myself thinking of how proud I am of being South African. As the road straightened, I saw in the emerging distance Maponya Mall for the first time.
This shopping mall was opened in September 2007 by visionary, Richard Maponya who actually bought the land in the 1980’s and awaited the African Renaissance to ‘make his dream come true’.
You may ask if it’s just another shopping mall that caters for your retail pleasure and the answer would be yes. Maponya Mall comes into its own as a destination that must be seen. When you are here, you start to realise were this beautiful country has come from. You can still see the broken chains that once bound its progress. Now free, South Africa an emerging nation that welcomes visitors into what was once considered the political centre for South Africa’s uprising.
Maponya Mall has an expansive parking space and is well secured. As you enter you can’t help but notice the grand elephant outside, surrounded by the glass, stone and steel, this is the feeling you are presented with, a modernistic Africa but still Africa. The large amount of natural light that is seen, softens the interior that otherwise would normally have been like any other mall. However Maponya Mall shines as the central meeting place where Africa open up her arms to learn and even mingle with the West.
There are trendy coffee shops and at least one very popular cocktail lounge and if its retail therapy you are looking for then designer and fashionable couture is what you have to have, Maponya Mall delivers this with a twist of Africa. At the moment all you will get to for fill your gastronomical requests would be fast food stores and popular SA restaurateurs catering to your needs, do keep in mind that the scene has been set for some fine African dinning.
Post courtesy of Mervyn Sigamoney