It’s a bitter sweet moment for a parent to watch their child move off to university. It’s a culmination of years of sacrifice, discipline, teaching, encouraging, learning from and growing with your child. And now they’re old and wise enough to tackle the big wide world on their own. The big question is where do they go? Well, why not Joburg?
In 1886, George Harrison an Australian prospector found gold on Langlaagte Farm, Roodepoort. Two South African ‘Johannes’ followed him shortly afterwards. Exactly which Johannes gave the then fledgling mining town its name is still a topic of hot debate, but today it’s known by many other names. It’s routinely shortened to Jo’burg or Jozi. It is also known as Egoli (City of Gold), Maboneng (City of Lights) and even bizarrely as the ‘Big Naartjie’ (tangerine).
Today, Jozi is South Africa’s largest city and one of Africa’s economic hubs. Nearly 11 million people call the greater Johannesburg area home and the city sprawls across an immense 1,645 square kilometres. While gold is now less important to the survival of the city these days, great mine dumps and slag heaps lie as beautiful, but poignant, reminders of the city’s past.
Sadly, the perception of Joburg as a den of iniquity and crime is far too pervasive in our minds. Parents, you shouldn’t worry about whether your daughter is going to become another statistic from something out of Taken. The city centre has undergone an intense revival in the last few years that has seen it become a place of joy and fascination. Newton Cultural Precinct is the centrepiece of the area, and connects the multitude of great restaraunts, jazz clubs art galleries and musuems. It’s a cultural win.
And for the naysayers that say Jozi is nothing but a dirty, stark concrete jungle. Well, there are literally millions of trees dotted around the city that grow in opposition to this statement. As your child begins their student life, they’re sure to use some of these trees as shade for when they’re studying.
What about institutions? Well, there are some incredibly reputable universities and business schools in Johannesburg. Not to worry, your child is in really good hands and will undoubtedly grow into the fantastic, contributing citizen that you raised them to be.