Carol's true to her roots
SOWETO-born TV producer and businesswoman Carol Bouwer says she is proud to have been born in Rockville township
Rockville has contributed so much to our liberation as a people as it is viewed as an important cultural and political icon in South Africa's history.
Though she now lives in Cape Town, she says each visit to Soweto leaves her amazed at "how beautiful this once dusty and grey township has become".
What do you like about Soweto?
Soweto is a township in constant development and fills you with hope that the dignity of our people will slowly be restored through urban development and proper planning.
The safety one feels in Soweto far surpasses how I feel when I visit my mom in Fourways and this was never the case before.
What are your favourite restaurants in Soweto and why?
I am a creature of habit and will always go back to the same places for familiarity and comfort, so in Soweto I am likely to go to the same Kentucky outlet where I discovered a rounder as a young child. However, my aunts who still live in Soweto are great cooks, so I don't eat out much when I am there.
Favourite hotel or B&B in Soweto?
I admire what Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo and her partners have achieved with the hotel in Kliptown, the Soweto hotel.
To see a place where I used to go every Sunday morning for vegetables, transformed into an iconic post-apartheid structure that speaks to our developmental goals as a nation, is something that I find truly inspiring.
What makes Soweto great?
The people. Sowetans have an optimism not found in many places. Even when the going gets tough, we know that more is nog 'n dag (tomorrow is another day).
Soweto nurtured great minds, from Nobel laureates to well respected South African transformative figures in politics, the arts, sports and most spheres of society.
Where do you chill with your friends in Soweto?
I am hardly one to "hang out" but I go to Maponya Mall. I think Maponya Mall is an important structure representing our dreams and hopes as a people. As a young girl, I remember having great conversations with mme Marina Maponya at the shop in Dube. Then eventually I met ous Chichi (Mabuse-Maponya) who has always made a great impression on me. But these encounters re-enforced to me the role women could play in affirming the dreams of young people wanting to go into business.
Ntate Richard Maponya is a visionary, but I also admire him for the fact that he created an enabling environment for these ladies with great minds to steer the ship and for us youngsters to watch and learn from them. Mme Marina was hands on and I remember I'd always find an excuse to go there even though it was a taxi ride away.
Watching ous Chichi now, you see the dynamism that you saw in her late mom; you see the business savvy surely learnt from a giant of a father.
What's your favourite shisanyama in Soweto?
Panyaza's in Rockville, without a doubt, sadly I last went there when he was close to my home at the old shop.
Where would you entertain a tourist in Soweto and why?
I'd take them to the places I have mentioned, but also to the newly refurbished Moroka Dam where a picnic is always in order. It would be remiss not to take them to Vilakazi Street. I remember my relatives from Holland not wanting to leave Wandie's. I would show them where I cycled as a youngster at Elkah Stadium and share the inspiring story of Regina Mundi and take them through its corridors.
What do you see Soweto developing like in the future?
I see Soweto and our people living there working hard to restore trade within the township. I see them ensuring that the rand begins to circulate Soweto a few times before it leaves for Sandton. Shopping in the township is good for the people who live there. I see more people moving into the RDP houses. Sowetans are a proud people so I am very optimistic about its prospects.
Where can you find the best burgers?
Allow me to pretend I eat healthy, please!
Primi Bazala, in Maponya Mall
Favourite hair salon?
Mojakisane's it used to be near Maponya Mall, but has moved
Favourite dance spot?
I'm too old to party like that
Where do you go for spa treatments?
Roots in Diepkloof