My Joburg: DJ Fresh talks music, food and 'Seriously Single'
Local / 28 July 2019, 1:30pm / Debashine Thangevelo
Following the recent announcement of DJ Fresh joining 947, it seems he will also be in the upcoming local movie, Seriously Single. With such a busy schedule, we find out more on how he spends his downtime.
Best place for a first date in the city?
I am an old fashion, old school guy so the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, if she is willing to hike then the scenes will be remarkable. If not, a picnic there would be amazing. It's down the road from my place so I would go there.
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive back in Joburg from out of town?
The pace of Joburg is known so when you arrive your system automatically kicks into a different gear the minute you arrive. Without a doubt, on arrival, I go to my swam app and check-in. It’s a location app that allows you to check in wherever you go and I am currently the major of Johannesburg for the past two years. There is a guy who dethroned me two weeks back but I got my title back when I landed from Cape Town ☺.
Best meal you’ve had in Joburg, that’s not at home?
The best meal I have had has to be recently when I went to Oskido’s new Japanese restaurant in Waterfall. I loved the fact that you watch them prepare your food, it gives a trust factor, almost like sitting in the kitchen with family and without the thought that someone might spit in your food without you knowing (haha).
What local song can't you stop listening to?
Zonke's L.O.V.E! I have had her album on repeat in my car for the past year or so; since it came out. I listen to at least one song a day religiously. L.O.V.E is my song, maybe even for the rest of my life.
And what local TV show are you loving right now?
I don’t watch a lot of TV so I record everything and binge-watch it later. What is very big in my house right now is 'The Throne', I can confidently say our PVR is full of it more than anything else and I am also loving my reruns of 'Studio Mix', not in vanity but more to recap and see how far my career has come. To see how TV has changed, the things we did and the level of entertainment we achieved then that some shows struggle with now.
What’s the last South African movie you watched?
I watch so many but not in order so I am not sure; I feel like saying it was 'Baby Mamas' but I could be wrong. I shot a movie a few days ago and will be out early next year, 'Seriously Single'.
And the last stage play you saw?
'Madagascar, the Musical' at the People’s Theatre downtown Jozi. My daughter Wandi, who is 10, is one of the Penguins in it. I know I sound biased but she is amazing. She is a triple threat: she acts, she sings and dances and before that it was Annie, which Wandi was also in.
When was the last time you attended a music festival in Joburg and who was performing?
It wasn’t recently; most times, I am at a festival to gig. The last time I attended was two years ago with my wife. We went to 'DSTV Delicious Festival' where Bongo Muffin and Lou Vega were performing. The next one I will attend will be '947’s Joburg Day'.
What's your earliest memory of Joburg?
It was 1980. I was eight years old and I came down with my folks to visit my uncle who had moved to Soweto. We would come shopping for Christmas clothes this side and we stayed at the Johannesburg Hotel, which is on Smit Street, near Ellis Park.
That was the first hotel I stayed at and back then it was one of the very few hotels that allowed black people to stay as guests. I remember leaving the city as we drove to Soweto; there was that warehouse to your left with the TDK cassette billboard, I remember wondering if that’s where they make TDK. I had already started collecting music back then and TDK was my god of cassettes and tapes.
So if you were Mayor of Joburg for the day, what would you do?
I don’t think one day is good enough but I feel we need to bring dignity, cleaning up and prioritise informal settlements. If I was given two years, I would replace shacks with brick home and running water to give them homes no matter how small. I would start with people who need it the most.
Your favourite hangout spot in the city?
The problem with me is that I don’t hang out but work in cool hangout spots. One of my favourites that I have played at is 'Great Dane'. I love a lot of inner-city, like the Bassline, Metanoia. All the events that are on that side of town are generally cool.
I eat more than I go places just to hang out for the vibe. My wife doesn’t know but we are going back to 'Daruma by Oskido' for date night. Moyo at Zoo Lake is also one of my favourites; their Sunday buffets and experiences is still my favourite; easily one of my favourite spots in Summer.
The best-kept secret in the city?
The number of thrift shops around the city; not sure who loves them more between my wife or me. There’s a lot of retro things and clothing you shouldn’t be paying a million rand for and you get at second hand. I am becoming a thrifter.
Where is the best place to let your hair down in Joburg?
Our Sundays at Moyo Zoo Lake; we take the kids there every second or third Sunday to go kick a ball, relax and unwind.
Who do you call when you want to have fun and where in the city do you go?
I more often than not will send a message to Black Coffee, Euphonik, PH and some of the other DJs. I will find out where they are working and go hang there with them.
Your favourite coffee shop in Joburg?
I don’t have a favourite; I am not a coffee snob so what I get works. My kids love Starbucks so that’s where you will often see me. Favourite place to shop in Joburg?
There’s a second-hand store on Jan Smuts in Blairgowrie near The Colony and Caxton; my wife goes there. I wait in the car because men are not allowed inside and her smile when she walks out is worth the wait.
When in the mood, my kids love Mall of Africa so that’s where we will go. It’s big enough and has everything, Vilakazi Street (Soweto), Maboneng Precinct (Johannesburg CBD), Menlyn (Pretoria) or 4th Avenue (Parkhurst).
Which do you prefer and why?
Maboneng Precinct because of its location, the variety, it's vibrant, it represents a Jozi we hardly see, a Jozi we probably last saw in the '80s. When I left home I told my mother I will live in the city and I did and started working there. It was a goal and it happened.
Which is your favourite market in Joburg and why?
It used to be Fourways Market BUT Fourways Market first thing in the morning when they open and not when it gets busy and full of the cool kids.
Which building in Joburg would you love to own and why?
The Telkom tower; I would love to see the restaurant at the top of the tower up and running again, maybe have it as part of the urban renewal. I lived on the corner of Louis Botha and Empire; I went to a gym in Hillbrow and partied a lot at High Point. I used to make a lot of phone calls at the post office at the Telkom Tower, so I have truly fallen in love with it.
Which building would you like to be locked in overnight and why?
The bank. Haha, I lie. The Kempton hospital. You hear of haunted buildings and as a person, who grew up reading books with ghosts and goblins, that would be perfect. Supernatural, parallel universe and the fact that something must happen to your soul when you die. I would either die from fear of ghosts or conquer it. What’s the one thing people need to stop doing in the city?
Peeing against building walls; it’s a horrid smell and ruins buildings.
Best place for a nightcap?
I don’t often drink, but after work around 4 am, a drink at Taboo would be sufficient. It used to be Vacca Matta, which was in Montecasino.
What’s the one thing that differentiates Joburg from other cities in SA?
How cosmopolitan it is; how the hustle and bustle reels you in. It’s like being in New York with a lot of Africans.
Where would you suggest first-time visitors to the city go to get the best experience of the city?
Maboneng would be perfect.
Lastly, how do you spend your Sunday?
Between being dragged to church by my wife and kids, my daughter loves it when I go to church with them. I am a solo rider so I will go for a ride on my motorbike. If not, it's Go Karting in Randburg or chilling at Moyo in Zoo Lake.
We do anything and everything outside the house as a family.