Chesa nyamas the place to be

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

You might have heard that suburban upwardly mobile black professionals and businessmen are flocking to the townships at weekends.

I am not sure whether they are township-sick or want to show off their wealth to childhood friends, but I know that they frequent township eateries.

And their favourite places are the chesa nyamas (braai places) dotted around the townships.

Panyaza in Rockville, Soweto, has been visited by the police, who acted on complaints from residents about disorderly customers.

The Rock, just a stone's throw from Panyaza, was also visited by law enforcers for similar reasons.

Last Saturday a friend and I decided to hit The Road House in Dobsonville. This one is quite classy and is walled for customers privacy and peace of mind. There is a butcher and a bottle store on the premies and you can also buy pap there. Whoever thought of it must be making good money. There are benches and umbrellas for clients, which is nice.

I was surprised to meet quite a number of prominent people from the entertainment and media industries. And they were equally surprised to see me there.

Chesa nyamas is township culture, so the police will just have to chill for a while.

We understand that by-laws should be respected but are the laws not behind the times as far as chesa nyamas are concerned?

At The Road House patrons do it differently. Unlike at Panyaza and the other places, at The Road House you have to braai your own meat, instead of someone doing it for you.

But the problem is that, since place is so busy, people forget which meat belongs to them and they end up taking the meat of other customers. This naturally results in rows. I witnessed a few such arguments on Saturday evening.

Besides these irritating incidents, township chesa nyamas are a really enjoyable place to hang out at with friends while enjoying a cold one.

I can vouch for it that most of the patrons I encountered at The Road House on Saturday evening were mature and well-behaved. I enjoyed myself so much that I will most certainly go back there in the near future.