Shisanyama – a term used to describe a braai where people come together to grill meat on an open fire – has been essential to South African townships. Whenever I consider having Shisanyama with a few sundowners, the first thought that comes to mind is “which township will I go to, to satisfy my craving?”
The answer will always be Chesterville. Chesterville has to be the heart of the best shisanyama in town.
There are a number of shisanyama joints in the township, and they are all frequented by locals and are very popular. That’s usually the first sign of a great shisanyama – when the locals still go there for grilled meat, jeqe, atchaar and more. This was also proved when Café Skyzer won best shisanyama at the inaugural Shisanyama Awards last year.
Here are some of the township’s other best spots for that sizzling shisanyama experience:
Situated in Chesterville Extension 1 intersection, Mashamplanez Lounge is the new kid on the block which already has a following and a vibe; it definitely has to be one of the hidden shisanyama treasures in Durban. Shisanyamas have become meaty attractions, and what I love about Mashamplanez Lounge, apart from its flavoursome quality meat seasoned with tasty spices and sauces, is that you are welcome to bring your own cooler box with your preferred refreshments. I have visited almost all township shisanyama spots in Durban and I have to give a standing ovation to their service. There are hardly any long queues waiting to buy meat or drinks, and their meat is served hot off the grill. As you wait for your meat, the air will be filled with good music (on Sundays) from local DJs, laughter, the clinking of glasses, and making new friends will be the order of the day.
The owner of the place is always hands-on, making sure people are served in time and that the place stays clean. It is a must visit for Durban tourists and locals when looking for a great afternoon to relax and socialise.
Mojo’s Carwash and Shisanyama
My township shisanyama life started here, this is my home away from home. Now almost 11 years in business, it started from a concrete pad, washing cars and selling household essentials.
Today it’s one of the biggest shisanyama spots in the township, the way it’s pumping, it’s a definite spot for anyone local or out of town. Whenever I go to Mojo’ s Carwash and Shisanyama there are memories made; from the music to the food. This is one of the best hangout spots for a Sunday afternoon, especially when you have had a rough Saturday night and need to unwind, as they have house DJs that play deep and soulful sounds from old school to the latest hits.
Or better yet, you can kill two birds with one stone: Have your car washed while you nibble the beef, boerewors or some traditional African food with a side of pap.
This is another relatively new spot in the Chesterville area, established only in 2015. When you enter the gates nothing says the joint is new, there is a massive crowd just after midday. The owner of the place welcomes, meets and greets his customers like old friends. I have only been to Lu’s Corner twice but I already feel at home as it has turned out to be my favourite shisanyama spot from the first day I set foot in it, because of their tasty meat – oh man it’s out of this world. They serve a mouth-watering selection from juicy T-bone to brisket, chicken and boerewors.
Their meat is very soft and you can tell the owner is understandably proud of his establishment. And if you are a music fan and want to explore the township lifestyle more, this is the place to be, deep inside the Chesterville area. The place easily fills up as it is quite small but the experience there is like no other.
If you do visit these places this winter especially in the evening, I advise that you take a warm jacket as it can get very cold.