SA actress Shannon Esra dishes on her travels
Actress Shannon Esra is currently in M-Net's new local drama, Still Breathing. When she isn't on set, she enjoys exploring the Johannesburg.
Best place for a first date in the city?
That's impossible to answer, there are so many wonderful places! Also, I am awful with favourites - always have been. Sorry!
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive back in Joburg from out of town?
Get the worst part over and done with - unpack my bags. Then, I throw my clothes in the wash and it is off to the shops to grab some essentials.
Best meal you’ve had in Joburg, that’s not at home?
Oh no!!! Another impossible question, as I consider myself a foodie. I can't just separate a meal - I'd have to go through all the various types of cuisines from around the world... Spanish, Mexican, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Ethiopian, Lebanese, Greek, Italian... we'll be here for days.
What local song can't you stop listening to?
Ah man, anything by Shekhina! I love Collide by Lady Zamar. I've been obsessed with Akanamali by Sun El-Musician (feat. Samthing Soweto) ever since I heard it a couple of years ago. It stirs something up in me that I find hard to describe. But again, bad with favourites! There is so much talent out there, and I love local.
What's your earliest memory of Joburg?
Of Joburg? Hmmm... I would have to say I was about 4 years old. My oupa owned the Wimpy at the top of the Carlton Centre. I remember going to visit him and my aunt, who at the time was a manager at the restaurant, and then going to see the ice rink. I was too little to skate, but I loved the smell of the ice.
The best-kept secret in the city?
If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret anymore.
Your favourite coffee shop?
Motherland Coffee is my best - that's one favourite I can claim!
Favourite place to shop at in Joburg?
Honestly, I find shopping utterly tedious. I would rather go out hiking, or listen to live music with friends or hang out with family. But, I would love for someone to take me to Vilakazi Street... I far prefer to see and wear authentic, local wear.
Which is your favourite market in Joburg and why?
Neighbourgoods is great. The Bryanston Organic Market is also fabulous.
Which building in Joburg would you love to own and why? I
think it would have to be the Carlton Centre, actually. Lots of fond memories from time spent there. And the view is pretty spectacular.
Where is the best view of Joburg?
Obviously, Carlton Centre for that City feel. The Living Room and Randlords are breathtaking, too. Not to mention Munro Drive, Westcliff and then, of course, the view from Northcliff. Higher Ground has an impressive view of Sandton CBD. Ah yeah... there are loads of places. The best? I couldn't say..
What’s the one thing that differentiates Joburg from other cities in SA?
The energy. Joburg has this pulse, this rhythm - the City is full of tenacity, frenzy, excitement - I find it intoxicating. Always have.
Where would you suggest first-time visitors to the city go to get the best experience of the city?
Honestly, that depends on the type of trip they want. I find Johannesburg's history (with gold) undeniably alluring. It's the heart of our existence here. So I would suggest starting there...