By Andy on Sunday 3 June 2007, 17:55 - Permalink
Guguletu has a gem of a restaurant tucked away off Klipfontein Rd. Directions can be a little tricky in the townships, so here is a Google Maps URL And for those of you with a GPS that translates to -33.976415 S 18.569694 E.
Mzoli's Meat is a butchery just off the main Klipfontein Rd. If you take the Modderdam Rd exit off the N2 out of Cape Town, turn left when you get to Klipfontein Rd, Cross the railway line, pass a petrol station on your left, and look for a cellphone tower disguised as a tree on the right. The cellphone tower is too far, but not by much (you can see it in the pictures below). Turn left, and you will see Mzoli's meat immediately on your left.
Mzoli's is an oasis in a desert - even two blocks away and you are in township proper. His bustling butchery has attacted 3 ATMs and an upmarket liquor store, and probably the cellphone tower - I should have checked the tower name ..
Business in the township
Doing business in the township requires savvy. Unfortunately there are many people who are jealous of success, and can too easily ruin your chances. Mzoli has decided that his business is . The large covered yard where you sit is open, and unfettered. You can bring your own alcohol, and most people do. You can buy alcohol at the nearby liquor store if you want - it is not run by Mzoli. He stays on the good side of the Muslims by not marketing alcohol, and assists others in their business by allowing them to make money too. In this way, there are others with a vested interest in keeping the location viable, he is not the lone entrepreneur.
I do, however, see that he has a wine label - actually a re-labelled wine from Paarl. The label advertises a website - but it does not appear to be live yet.
Despite this, his daughter was kidnapped in December 2006, but fortunately she was found without the demanded ransom being paid. His son drowned in a diving accident in January 2007, just a month later.
When you buy the meat, they offer to braai the meat for you. A trip to the back of the shop reveals 8 (count them) braai fires, set up as continuous barbeques. On the right of the coals is a rack with freshly burning wood - the coals drop down and are spread to the left under the grill. On a busy day all the braais are operational, with a cook at each one.
I have been to Mzoli's about 4 times now, and enjoy it thoroughly. Stock up on plenty of beer, and the best plan is to get a group of people and hire a Kombie taxi and driver so everyone can drink. I have always been on a Saturday afternoon. Arrive around 1pm to 2, and you will get a table. After that it can be difficult to get a large table, as the place fills up. There is usually a band, provided by Mzoli I think, and by late afternoon there can be 250 people there. The girls all look beautiful, and the variety of hairstyles extraordinary. Cars are upmarket, and showing off. There can be as many as 30 tourists there as well (I count myself one of them) - it is a popular township destination for visitors. The music means that there is an informal dance area.
We took a walk around the neighbourhood, which (of course) knows Mzoli's quite well now. The standard pattern is a black guide and unfamiliar white visitors. We matched the pattern, but our black friend was Saheed from Nigeria, so it was quite funny seeing locals address him first as the presumed leader..
Others have blogged and blogged and blogged about Mzoli's place as well.. The pictures below are Mzoli Ngcawuzele with Tina and myself, Inside Mzoli's yard, Saheed, Femi, Andy and Justin with beer, Eric partying, Alfred and Saheed as the cool dudes, Femi dancing, Our DJs with Femi, The Braais (8 of them), one of the Chefs, in the township, Christian, Femi, Justin, Issa and Andy taking a walk, two guys in the township, one block away from Mzoli's, a hair salon operating out of an old shipping container, Klipfontein Rd with a cellphone mast on the right, Braai wood - probably enough for one afternoon,and Mzoli's Merlot from Paarl.