welcome to the Roving Bantu Kitchen & Treks

The name ROVING BANTU comes from my days in exile. It was a nickname given to ANC activists such as myself living in exile during the apartheid era. The Roving Bantu is a character, a person living up in the air, jumping from one cloud to the next, never on the ground. We were seen as wanderers, nomads in a state of flux. This was coined in a positive light because essentially we are all Roving Bantus.

The Roving Bantu Kitchen is a temple of African Freedoms and Friendships, a space where we create new friendships, forge new South Africans beyond the binary, beyond the black and white.

From Community Weddings to DarkieMentaries on the African Experience, Afro-SoulFood & Afro Jazz, the RovingBantu Kitchen has in the last Three Years, and counting, been “Cooking All Tings African & Kultural” New Country, or not, what is a “South African”? What is “South African Food”?

“theKitchen” is located in the inner-city neighbourhood of Brixton, in Johannesburg. It was here in Brixton that not so long ago it was also the home to those brutes of our past once rightly named the Brixton Murder & Robbery Squad, those were Apartheid’s Storm Troopers. “Memory is a weapon,” once suggested the South African poet, Don Mattera…

theKitchen is a “Living Centre of the Recent African Memory of Being in Jozi” that attempts to portray what it is to be African…  To create a “New South African Personality”.

With its decor of a “Township Shack”, existing alongside “White Sandton”, theKitchen is a “Quintessentially Msawawa Space” – an unapologetically South African Joint that provides a platform and a space for people to meet and share views, food, drink, music and ideas. Coming from a past that was based on the backward concept of “Separate Development”, ours is to deliberately create a Community Space For All…

With the advent of Corona we have had to relook our offering and how we will be doing things into the future. One thing is certain…we are not going any where but we will be making some changes

Firstly,  we will be focussing more on deliveries and take ways. Our Soweto room will be open for smaller group bookings of no more than 20. These gatherings will be more exclusive and will take on the feel of a DINING ROOM. Meal and music events will also be smaller and more intimate

We will be focussing on developing our merchandise range which we have been able to focus on and develop over this period. We are very excited about this

We have started a SOUP KITCHEN which has been operating 4 days a week where we provide people from the community with a hot lunch. The Brixton residents and our neighbouring hoods including our councillor have been very generous with helping us with ingredients and cash donations to make purchases. We intend to continue with this service. As we well know,  poverty and hunger is not new but the virus has exasperated the situation. Hunger is very very real

We have been grateful to be able to use this time constructively and feel quite excited about the future and the changes we will be implementing

We also wish to thank those who donated to our crowdfunding project that we had running on the Thundafund platform. We have been tremendously humbled by you all. We thank you for believing in us and for cheering us along. You give us strength and the will to go on.

kitchen

The menu is small but is always fresh and wholesome, cooked in house with love and fresh ingredients. We serve up afro soul food and you can expect to find mogodu, peanut and coconut chicken, cow heels and samp and beans on the menu. Vegetarians and vegans are also catered for. Try Sifiso’s African risotto, a combination of samp & beans cooked long and slow with pork hocks.

treks

Sifiso is the person you want to meet when you visit a new country and you want an honest and authentic experience. He holds back nothing on the telling of this country, past, present and future. His insights are both personal, political and historical. Expect to go off the beaten track and to see things most people would not get to see if they did not know their way around. He is passionate about this country and endeavours to make a difference.

radio bantu live

Expect to catch some of the best live jazz acts Johannesburg has to offer, usually on a Friday and a Saturday night. The Radio Bantu Live stage also hosts poets and stand up comedians. Check our events page for documentary film screenings.  Bookings are advised for special events as our space is limited when it comes to live music events and performances.

sleeps

If you are looking for a real Jozi experience, then Brixton is the hood for you! It is where you find people walking on the streets, children playing in the park, neighbours stopping by for a chat. Our Airbnb is well located, close to Wits University and the University of Johannesburg. Melville, SABC, Braamfontein, Rosebank and Soweto are all easily accessible. It is convenient base for academics, film makers, artists and architects, law interns and general lovers of a down to earth neighbourhood.

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