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Life in Joburg can be tough, but in Brixton, I’ve found my sweet spot

Life in Joburg can be tough, but in Brixton, I’ve found my sweet spot

It’s the home of my heart, and the heart of my home.

Brixton has taught me that a community isn't just a geographical location. It's a support system, a safety net, and a source of genuine connection.

I’ve always dreamed of living in Johannesburg. Over the years, I’ve traversed through various neighbourhoods, each offering a unique experience. But it was in Brixton where my partner and I found the place of our dreams.

Our move to the suburb, west of the city centre, marked the start of a significant chapter in our lives. With the anticipation of our son joining us after spending his first six years in Kimberley, Northern Cape, we needed a space filled with warmth and community spirit.

In Brixton, an old suburb with wide streets and semi-detached houses, we found it.

Last year, at the annual Brixton Light Festival, we watched a kaleidoscope of colours paint the night, adding a mesmerising glow to the iconic Sentech communication tower, a symbol of Joburg itself.

The air was abuzz with music and the sounds of children playing. Street stalls displayed an array of crafts and tantalising food, reflecting the diversity of the suburb’s residents.

Brixton is home to artists, architects, students, actors, and immigrants from across Africa, weaving a rich tapestry of culture and collaboration.

The heartbeat of Brixton resonates in Kingston Frost Park, a sanctuary of greenery for children and adults alike. The age-old trees provide cool, shady spots to escape the sun and picnic with loved ones.

The quaint benches, play area, and outdoor gym add to the park’s allure. From as early as 6am to late at night, residents take time to connect with nature.

As a community project, residents take turns to clean the park, leaving behind a trailing scent of freshly cut grass.

It was in Kingston Frost Park, in the face of a child’s disappearance recently, that the strength of community shone brightest.

Swift action from neighbours led to the safe recovery of the child, a reminder that in Brixton, we are not just residents but a collective guardianship.

Three WhatsApp groups form a digital lifeline for residents. One for community news, another for commerce, and the most vital, an emergency group that showcases the power of unity when it matters most.

It is in these groups that we experience the human side of our neighbours, with personalities as colourful and diverse as the streets of the suburb itself.

In a world where loneliness pervades, knowing there’s a group of neighbours on call brings solace and a profound sense of security.

In a city often characterised by caution, the almost idyllic, quiet atmosphere and neighbourly spirit of Brixton are its greatest appeals.

Brixton has taught me that a community isn’t just a geographical location. It’s a support system, a safety net, and a source of genuine connection.

The rich diversity, cultural amalgamation, and collective spirit create an environment where my family and I have not just found a house but a true sense of belonging.

In Brixton, amidst the challenges and triumphs, we’ve discovered a home that goes beyond the walls of our dwelling. A home that resides in the hearts of its people.

Poppy Louw

Change expert, Poppy Louw, believes that the big change equals big opportunity.

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