When we introduced this blog series, we told you that the city of Cape Town is enigmatic and hard to pin down. Perhaps one of the most vibrant, enigmatic stories of Cape Town is that of the Bo-Kaap. Much like the patterns on a quilt, the homes of this remarkable suburb in the centre of the Mother City are woven into the very fabric of her history.
More than a pretty façade
Formerly a township, Bo-Kaap is the golden heart of resistance, and for good reason too. It’s a place where time stands still between the maze of brick roads and quaint, colourful houses that adorn the slopes of the city. It is about people, proud and knowledgeable about their history. Here they know each other by name, street name and house number. Friends are your family, and families live side by side.
Generation after generation call the same modest houses their home. You can almost smell freshly-ground spices, koeksisters and Cape Malay curry wafting through the air. The Bo-Kaap itself is an important story, but it is also home to a collection of individual stories that have shaped this city.
The Bo-Kaap story is one of resilience and fortitude as demonstrated by its residents. Not much changes in Bo-Kaap. Its idiosyncrasies are its charm and the more time you spend here, the more captivating its stories become.
The story today
Make sure you wander the beautiful streets of the Bo-Kaap and into the Bo-Kaap Museum. It’s the oldest house in this area, where you can share in the remarkable lives of the people who have lived and written their stories here. 14 Stories Rooftop Bar, looks out over the Bo-Kaap, so if you want a birds-eye view of this incredible place, stop by to take it all in.