To those of the 011


Poems and songs have been written about the city of Johannesburg and her beautiful splendour. Dreams have been realized and destroyed on her streets and all of this has culminated in making our great city, well, great, This city did not become the leader of the African continent by remaining dormant and uninhabited
Jozi Maboneng. None can take away from the profound impact that this city holds on them, passive or direct, it has shaped the path of many lives and will continue to do so until time comes to pass. But often we speak of this great city as if it is an inanimate being that is somehow able defer a dream or create riches. The truth of the matter is that Johannesburg owes its existence to those who call it home.
The City of Gold. This city was built on the backs of gold miners and maybe that is the subconscious reason that so many flock to her. The hopes of gold are so strong that we will forsake home and upbringing for the unguaranteed hope of finding our own gold mines. But my city is not so giving. She does not give to anyone but she is open to the taking. Johannesburg has never given to those who deserve it, but instead she allows the determined and unrelenting to take minute parts of wealth from time to time, just often enough that the city does not grow empty and resentful.
No one is from Joburg. This is the general sentiment and perception, behind the city and to a large extent this is the essence of her. The migrants keep the city young and evolving; as no one is really from hear we all strive to leave our imprints on it. We hope to mould and sculpt her into reflections of ourselves. We work so hard because we know that this is the ultimate prize. Give her all you have and she may give you gold.
The city does not sleep simply because there is no room for it. There are so many different people, doing so many different things at the same time it would be impossible for a moment of rest to fall on the city. For every student going to sleep at 4am from studying there is a business owner waking up to push their livelihood. There is no sleep. There is no rest. She demands all you have at all times, but she is a generous lover. What you feed she gives back to you. Inspiration sits at every corner. Motivation, drive and vision are what you need to make it here, and it is found around every bend and is available to those who would simply take it, tax free.
I take my hat off to the inhabitants. Surviving each day is a feat of its own. There are so many mountains to climb, all before one gets out of bed, that you need to respect those who continue climbing. It is a city of driven people and the only way to make it is to have more than the rest. You can make it in the city being mediocre, but that’s all you will do, make it at the most basic level. To be live well in this city you need to work over and beyond, and to thrive, you need to dominate and destroy all you encounter, this is a skill that very few people have.
Joburg is Joburg, not because of the ground that it is built on, but rather the backs it has been built on. Joburg is a city that never sleeps because the people do not take pause to rest. Joburg is the city of opportunity because of those who failed to find a door and carved a way of their own. Joburg is a city of passion because those who pass through or live here either adore or despise it, there are no in-betweens’.
I salute you Joburger, you are great
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