If you follow Tshepang Molisana on Instagram you will know that she weaves beautiful stories around food and wine that will inspire you to follow her journey even closer. Tshepang is also the winner of the 2016 Veritas Young Wine Writer Award for an essay that she wrote titled Could Social Media Replace Traditional Wine Guides?
Tshepang is living proof that the answer is yes!
What do you love about Jozi?
My family has been in Johannesburg for at least three generations. I love everything about this place, but mainly the people. There’s a certain warmth, generosity and familiarity about the people who call this place home. While the realities of life have hardened a lot of people, they are still likely to invite you to their homes where you will probably befriend their entire family.
What do you do in Jozi?
In the East Rand, there are still amazing green spaces, like the Klipriviersberg to hike. I used to love to picnic at the Emmarentia Botanical Gardens. I also really love walking around the outdoor sculptures at Nirox. Mainly I like to walk, I walked around the city from Faraday Taxi Rank to Braamfontein a lot when I was a student at Wits. I also spend a delicious amount of time eating and drinking wine.
Are you a morning or evening person?
I am a morning person. We have sensational sunrises in Johannesburg. I also have a lot to juggle and the earlier I start working the easier it is to get everything done.
Describe a typical or ideal day in your life?
I wake up at 5, finish writing or edit any work. After I’ve worked, had coffee and had a good bath I go to work. Two or three days a week I have a wine tasting or lunch.
What makes someone a JoziStyler?
I think that the most quintessential people of this place are extremely savvy – in a variety of ways. They know and understand how things work, how to get to where they need to be (on a complex network of highways and a dismal public transport system) and how to help others (people will say ‘lookout for the crack in the pavement’ or ‘don’t walk on that street’ to total strangers and then carry on with their day).
How do you spend your weekends in Jozi?
I used to love that you could go out on a Friday night and you’d always run into someone you know in Joburg. I like spending Friday evenings in shiny places like at The Hyde Park Hotel pool deck, Melrose Arch or Marble restaurant. When I’m not working, I like to put on a face mask and clean on a Saturday. Then have a long, endless brunch with my friends at 44 Stanley. Then maybe a nice dinner at one of my favourite places, like DW11-13. On Sundays, we used to take a nature walk as a family, then have breakfast. I used to cook for a few hours, then we spent Sundays with the family. We enjoy a good lunch and a good bottle of wine together at home as a family. Generally, Sundays are the only time we can all be together, and we cherish this time, especially because my grandmother sets aside the afternoon to have lunch with us.
What’s your favourite season in Jozi?
Autumn is wonderful, the air is cool and the trees are a myriad of colours. When I used to drive to work very early, I enjoyed how the canopy of trees created most beautiful jewel-toned art through the windscreen.
Your number one reason for people to visit Jozi?
For the people, this city’s history is shaped by its people. Whether you visit Busy Corner in Tembisa, Anka’s Kitchen near Spruitview, Vilakazi Street in Soweto, or one of the city’s many art galleries you’ll find yourself in the company of people who have made history. If you’re lucky enough to be invited to Victor Dlamini’s photography studio near ConHill, you should definitely go. Constitutional Hill is a wonderful way to explore the heart of the city and some of its history and art partially curated by Justices Albie Sachs and Yvonne Mokgoro, then visit The Wing Republic in Braamfontein or make your way to The Market Theatre in Newtown. Or even Victoria Yards for the best fish and chips in town.
Your favourite hotel in Jozi for a #Staycation?
Tsogo Sun’s Hyde Park Hotel for the view, The Peech Hotel for the food – wonderful collaboration with Chef Candice. And The Cliffside Boutique Hotel in Northcliff to feel like you’ve escaped within the city.
Your favourite holiday spot outside Jozi?
Robertson in the Western Cape, and stay at The Robertson Small Hotel.
Describe yourself as a cocktail?
Chef Megan Meikle, a pastry Chef and consultant at The Cliffside Boutique Hotel has created the most amazing desserts. My favourite is a rose, litchi and raspberry popsicle in a gin and tonic. The rim is frosted in rose petals, and it becomes more inviting and the aromas begin to rise as you stir the popsicle in a sparkling Gin and Tonic. I’m a little bit like that, I can take a while to warm up to things, I’m a little bit aloof, but as you stir a little, you’ll find some colour, texture and flavour.
Favourite spot for sundowners with friends?
At home. Also The Saxon for their wine list, Blackbrick for the view or La Boqueria for the energy.
Describe your ideal date night in Jozi?
I was born the day before Valentine’s Day so I live for romance. I was once taken hot air ballooning over Magaliesberg at dawn, we had bubbly and some breakfast when we landed. Then a long lunch at Marble and supper at Signature.
What do you do to relax in your spare time?
I have tea, cake and seafood with my granny. Whatever she wants, really.
Where should we go for lunch?
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
Homegoing Yaa Gyasi.
Which art exhibition have you enjoyed recently?
Celebrating the Love of Art, A Personal Selection by Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg at La Motte.
Where have you recently had a good glass of wine?
The 10 Year retrospective of Mullineux Family Wines Shiraz at Marble.
Which building in the city do you appreciate the most?
The Johannesburg Public Library
Follow Tshepang Molisana on Instagram!