It all began when Luke Dale Roberts opened a restaurant at The Saxon hotel in Johannesburg last year May.
Supposedly representing the rivalry between Johannesburg and Cape Town – Luke’s award-winning Test Kitchen in Woodstock was rated Africa’s best restaurant in 2016 – CNN took the chance to publish a piece comparing the two cities.
Just who do they think they are weighing in on the old age debate?
Well, what they had to say had its truths – obviously:
Johannesburg is the richest and biggest city in South Africa, but even residents who love it labor under the weight of relentless comparisons to its beautiful sibling on the coast.
“A friend of mine summed it up perfectly. If Joburg and Cape Town were on a dating website, Cape Town would be the blonde in the bikini and Joburg would be the one with the really great personality,” said Laurice Taitz, publisher and editor of Johannesburg In Your Pocket City Guide.
In certain respects, it’s an unfair competition. No other city in the world can boast Cape Town’s natural setting, at the confluence of two oceans and the iconic Table Mountain smack in the middle of the city. The surrounding winelands are filled with picturesque fields that host some of the finest dining in the country.
“In reality Joburg can never compete with Cape Town’s incredible natural beauty, except perhaps for its brief jacaranda seasonal fling in spring when the older suburbs are covered in a haze of purple blooms,” said Taitz.
“This is historically a mining town, founded on a hunger for gold, a magnet for adventurers and risk-takers, and while there may not be much of that shiny mineral wealth left, scratch the surface of this city and you’ll find a richness of people and experiences. The place has an energy and a heartbeat not found in seaside towns.”
Yup, they said it – but that doesn’t mean Johannesburg doesn’t have anything to offer. I love Jozi; its ambition is contagious and its people energetic .
And, as CNN puts it, the city’s “willingness to embrace its essentially urban character” has “fuelled a desire to return to streets and sidewalks, creating a new life outside of the high walls that surround many suburban homes and shopping complexes”.
From the urban jungles of Braam and Maboneng, to the leafy suburbs of Rosebank, Johannesburg has made its own mark in South Africa once again.
Of course, I’m a Capetonian through-and-through, but I am not about this rivalry.
If you’re into it and need some ammo for those awfully tired debates that come up every time someone from Johannesburg makes their way down to the Cape, you can check out CNN’s full piece here.
[imagesource: Twitter / @KoalaneMotaung] There are some looted goods you will never get...
Everybody has that one friend who claims to know exactly what’s going on in the world of...
[imagesource: LinkedIn / Ryan Joffe] Ryan Joffe. Remember the name. One of the At...
[imagesource: Collider] Happy Friday, good people. As we begin to clock watch, count...
[imagesource: Getty Images] Does anyone remember Megan Fox at the Golden Globe Awards i...