A new podcast series from Eyewitness News investigates the history of the iconic area lined with brightly painted houses on cobbled streets, unravel a number of myths and tries to determine the future of this close-knit community and famous, old family businesses in the area. The Story of Bo-Kaap is a three-part podcast series written and produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and Rebecca Davis. Subscribe so that you don't miss out on the series, here.
Hidden above Buitengracht Street in the Mother City, the picturesque Bo-Kaap keeps a watchful eye over Cape Town and her beloved residents.
Deeply-rooted in the rich culture and heritage of Malaysians, Indonesians, and Africans – the iconic area, formerly known as the Malay Quarter is home to 6000 residents who reside in the world-famous, brightly painted houses lining the steep cobbled streets.
Originally home to slaves brought over by Dutch imperialists in the 16th century, the history of this distinctive neighbourhood is complex and, entangled with mythology and folktales.
To dispel some of these myths, Haji Mohamed Dawjee and Rebecca Davis in collaboration with Eyewitness News investigates Bo-Kaap’s history, businesses and, the reasons behind its continued resistance against gentrification from rapacious property developers as well as its need for protection of its heritage status.
EPISODE 1: THE HISTORY OF BO-KAAP
In the first episode, Haji Mohamed Dawjee and Rebecca Davis take a look at the original inhabitants of Bo-Kaap and, find answers to the thorny questions of how Bo-Kaap survived apartheid demolitions and why those houses are painted in bright colours.
EPISODE 2: THE BUSINESSES OF BO-KAAP
In the second episode, Haji Mohamed Dawjee and Rebecca Davis speak to the store owners of famous, old businesses of Bo-Kaap, Rocksole Leather and Atlas Trading Company to get an idea of how they’ve survived despite the emergence of hipster joints.
EPISODE 3: THE GENTRIFICATION OF BO-KAAP
In the third episode, Haji Mohamed Dawjee and Rebecca Davis talk about Bo-Kaap’s heritage status and gentrification and, try to determine whether there are advantages for locals when the architecture of spatial planning in urban areas changes in order to make them appealing to the more affluent.
Related: The Story of Bo-Kaap: How the iconic neighbourhood escaped gentrification
The story of Bo-Kaap is an EWN production presented and produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and Rebecca Davis with sound engineering and editing by Gavin Deysel. Our thanks to Beat Bangaz featuring Youngsta CPT for the use of the song Bo-Kaap.
Photo credits go to Barry Christianson at GroundUp, Shakirah Dramat and Wayne Hipe at THAT Network, Bertram Malgas at Eyewitness News, Estee de Villiers at Cape Town Tourism and Benny Marty at iStock.
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Digging up the secrets of Cape Town’s hidden treasure