Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Local colour

A lovely clear day after yesterday's rain. This is Wale Street in the Bo Kaap area of Cape Town -Lion's Head popping up over these colourful old houses. Many Muslims and freed slaves settled here after the abolition of slavery in what was known as Waalendorp (as it was developed by Jan de Waal in the 1760s - hence the name Wale Street or Waal Straat today). The ancestors of the majority of the Muslims in the Cape arrived from 1658 onwards as slaves, political exiles and convicts from East Africa and South East Asia (India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka).
Under the lunatic administration of the Apartheid government, the Bo Kaap area was declared an exclusive residential area for "Cape Muslims" under the Group Areas Act of 1950 and people of other religions and ethnicity were forced to leave. Today it is one of the few neighbourhoods with a predominantly working class population that continues to exist near a city centre, although that is rapidly changing as the super wealthy move in to this breathtakingly beautiful corner of Cape Town.


  1. Lovely bright houses- and a fascinating history too. Thanks!


  2. Mmmm and then they complain about the muezzin's call to prayer ...

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