Cape Town. Affectionately known as the Mother City to those who live in it, Cape Town, to some people around the world and some South Africans, is sometimes known as the ‘Little Europe’ of Africa as it may possibly be the most modern city in post-colonial Africa. But it is at times a great shame for such a giant of a city to be known so one-dimensional. People usually visit Cape town for its beaches (though ice-cold as they can be) and that other natural wonder… you know, that mountain which was recently voted 7th wonder of the world? Yeah, that one. There are those who choose to wander the city searching for alternative views of Cape Town, though. Party animals end up visiting Long Street for a great time and to get lucky, while cosmopolitans choose Buitekant Street to unwind with a cuppa joe. But a gentle giant known as Roeland Street is often unfairly ignored.
I’m a journalism student at CPUT and I only got to know of Roeland Street because my campus was located there, and as I got more familiar with the street, I found that it is home to more intellectually beneficial spots than any other street in Cape Town, or anywhere in South Africa, for that matter. From the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s journalism, photography and PR departments, to the Harrold Cressy High School, to the Western Cape Archives and Records Services, to the ORMS Cape Town School of Photography, to The Book Lounge book shop, to City Varsity. Roeland Street is a true hub of endless information and intellect.
At no.72 on Roeland, the Western Cape Archives and Records Service majestically stands rich in history in more ways than one. Originally this site was where the old Roeland Street Prison used to operate, this building was constructed for the Cape Town Archives Repository that moved into the new building in 1990. This is where the Western Cape government manages and preserves records that form part of our archival heritage. These records are preserved for use by government and people of South Africa.
For those book lovers out there looking for for a bookstore with the latest offerings from their favourite author, there is The Book lounge. Opened in 2007, this independent bookshop is a one of a kind with its calm ambience and the astonishing simplicity with which you can find the book or section of the author that you’re looking for. There are many interesting book related events that are hosted in this space and special children’s story time at 11:00 on Saturdays. As I walked in to have some sort of mini-interview with the staff and take a few pics, I found myself getting lost at the many interesting reads that were in front of my eyes. I ended up buying for myself an interesting autobiography written by one of our heroes in the struggle to liberate South Africa.
The Book Lounge details are as follows:
Address: 71 Roeland Street, Cnr Buitenkant & Roeland Street, Cape Town, 8001
Tel: 021 462 2425
Rarely do you see so many educational institutions of different levels on the same street. From where Roeland Street begins you will find City Varsity and at the very end of this magnificent street lies CPUT‘s Barc Building when I’m currently doing my second year in journalism. Harold Cressy High School and the ORMS Cape Town School of Photography lie between them.
Those whose first love is art will not feel left out when visiting this magnificent street as there is an amazing haven for them located on 62 Roeland Street, Gardens, Cape Town 8001. This Haven is called ARTSAUCE. This elegant hole in the wall has all the things those artistic at heart would want, need and die for. The moment I walked in, the looks on people’s faces were like children at a candy store. People of all ages will feel welcome and catered for. From painters to pencil sketchers, to scrapbookers, to those who just simply need basic school or office stationery; all is catered for at ARTSAUCE.
Fashionistas will be in love with Margot Molyneux‘s fashion design studio, focused on producing well made, seasonal collections of women’s wear. This boutique sells high-end fashion female clothing and handbags at such an affordable price. Based here in Cape Town, they greatly enjoy the beauty of this city around us, using it, as well as art and traditional methods of printmaking, as inspiration in their colour choices and in their textiles designs.
Margot Molyneux’s contact details are as follows:
Address: 69 Roeland Street | Cape Town
Tel: +27 21 461 4565
The saying that goes “never judge a book by its cover” comes to life when you explore Roeland Street. It oozes of life and unexpected excitement. When you visit Cape Town, don’t just pop-in to check out that mountain, make sure u come check out our beloved Roeland Street as well. I promise you, You will not regret it.
‘Till Next Time Peeps, Bhabhayini!