Connect with us


Kwa Mai Mai: Jozi’s Thriving Entertainment Hub



Kwa Mai Mai

Nestled beneath a bridge in Jeppestown, Johannesburg, Kwa Mai Mai has emerged as one of the city’s most popular entertainment destinations. While renowned for its exquisite Zulu traditional outfits, including isicholo (Zulu hat) and amabheshu (hide flap covering the buttocks), this cultural market has stolen the limelight in Jozi as reported by the Sowetan Live.

Located amidst scrapyards, motor mechanic shops, shacks, and two burnt buildings, Kwa Mai Mai exudes a distinct charm. Within its cultural marketplace, 15 entrepreneurs operate vibrant shisanyama stalls, each equipped with corrugated iron containers to house their cooking equipment. The shisanyama areas embrace an open space concept, furnished with plastic chairs and tables, forsaking leather and formal menus.

Also Read: Reviving Pantsula: South African Dance Takes the Global Stage

Despite these humble surroundings, the atmosphere at Kwa Mai Mai is nothing short of extraordinary, particularly on weekends. Hundreds of people flock to the market, capturing enchanting moments on videos and dancing to music emanating from nearby cars.

Approaching the main gate, one is greeted by a variety of containers offering an array of braaied meats, including ox heart, ox liver, boerewors, steak, and uphuthu (crumbly dry pap). Sowetan visited this renowned market to experience the buzz that has been generating social media buzz for months.


While some may argue that there is nothing conventionally appealing about Kwa Mai Mai, it is approximately 3 pm on a bustling Saturday when our team arrives. The place is teeming with activity, and finding a seat becomes a challenge due to the overwhelming crowds. Kwa Mai Mai attracts a diverse range of visitors, showcasing their unique fashion tastes and appealing to university students and high earners alike. Luxury cars line the entrance, further reflecting the market’s widespread allure.

Also Read: Imbumba Foundation Spotlight Feminine Hygiene

Sabelo Masondo, the manager and stall owner, explains that Kwa Mai Mai has always enjoyed popularity, but the pandemic brought an exponential increase in visitors. Taking over the stall from his grandmother in 2020, Masondo attests to the energy and passion required to cater to customers daily.

“I used to assist my grandmother while still in school, and when she fell ill, I took over. This place can get chaotic, especially on weekends when finding a place to sit and eat becomes a challenge,” says Masondo. “Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had our loyal customers, but during these challenging times, we saw a significant surge in numbers. The overwhelming support we receive as black entrepreneurs is genuinely appreciated. However, I can’t pinpoint exactly why people prefer this place over others.”

As a visitor, you choose a seat at a braai stall of your liking, warmly welcomed by friendly women as you place your order. Waiters promptly provide water for handwashing, ensuring a hygienic experience. Masondo believes that the area sets itself apart by allowing patrons to bring their own alcohol, contributing to its unique appeal.


Also Read: Deputy Minister Urges Community to Protect Employment Centres

The popularity of Kwa Mai Mai extends beyond weekends, as people arrive as early as 9 am throughout the week. Masondo’s day commences at 6 am with a visit to the gym, followed by a stop at the butchery to collect fresh stock. He then heads to the bustling business area, enjoying breakfast while preparing the mouthwatering iskobho (cow-head) dish. Early visitors, often taxi drivers, expect their food to be promptly ready.

Nelisiwe Siwela, who accompanied her group of five friends, is a regular visitor to Kwa Mai Mai. Introduced to the place by a friend in 2021, she has since become a frequent patron.

“We come here with our friends to relax and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. I appreciate the quality of the meat, the lively music, and the freedom to bring our own beverages. We simply have fun,” shares the 25-year-old Siwela.

Kwa Mai Mai continues to captivate visitors with its lively ambience, delectable cuisine, and authentic experience.


Also Read:

President Ramaphosa Vows to Punish Perpetrators of Truck Attacks

Follow us on Google News

Photo: Facebook / @Sowetan LIVE

Continue Reading