|There is an energy in Joburg that she loves, says devoted Joburger Tabiso Sikwane. There are more options in the city, more creativity, more fashion choices, and more integration.|
Radio talk show host Thabiso Sikwane loves the city centre: the buzz of the jovial hawkers, the street shoe repairers and the hair salons.
Sikwane is the irrepressible, bubbly host of "Afternoon Talk" on SAfm, a two-and-a-half-hour show that "consistently informs, entertains and engages you on all sorts of subjects from politics to arts, culture and lifestyle issues", according to the SABC website.
She brings a freshness to afternoon radio, challenging listeners either to support or reconsider their views, with the slogan: "You don't have to wait till the weekend to have a good time!"
Photo cred: Thabiso Sikwane Twitter
For years she used to go to a hair salon in the central business district, Sikwane says. However, these days she only goes to town occasionally for her hair. Yet there are other drawcards to the city: tomatoes from the pavement hawkers in town are "so much cheaper than buying at Woolies!". And she still patronises the shoe repairers in town.
Living in Hillbrow in the 1980s, Sikwane loved going to the Milky Way and Exclusive Books. She admits there is still a touch of fear to going into the city, yet Joburg is "like any other place - it is just another cosmopolitan city".
That is another aspect the radio host likes: "There are more options in Joburg, more creativity, more fashion choices, and more integration."
When the sun goes down, Sikwane is quite a Joburg joller. She heads to the Market Theatre in Newtown, or north to the Blues Room in Village Walk, the Bassline - when it was still in Melville, Who's Zoo in Midrand, or Club Monaco in Rivonia. For eating out, it is Sudada in Sandton, or Marung on the 50th floor of the Carlton Centre, in the heart of Jozi.
Sikwane was born in Pretoria but has lived in Johannesburg since she was just eight months - so she fully qualifies as a Joburger. The lifestyle in Pretoria is very different from Joburg, Sikwane says, explaining that in Jozi there is more integration and "here everything can be found".
She has worked extensively in radio and television: Kaya FM, Yfm, Voice of Soweto, SABC1's Unqabothi Sweet Melodies, SABC2's The Breakfast Club, Midday Breeze, Your Own Business and the youth talk show, The Joint.
In the lon term? Sikwane says she will be in Joburg "for a long time to come - I am here to stay". But if she did have to leave, it would be to live in Botswana, where her husband was born. At least it's not too far away from the buzz.