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February 26, 2013

Shado Twala on her love affair with Cape Town

Shado Twala has since 2004 lived in Hout Bay, the little fishing village which has enough entertainment for people to not leave its boundaries. But for her, there is nothing better than venturing further afield to enjoy the culture, vibe, music and food Cape Town has to offer. 

Shado Twala on Chapman's Peak Drive, with Hout Bay's famous Sentinel in the background. Photo courtesy of Owami Twala

Walking up Chapman's Peak with her daughter Owami, 16, is one of Shado's favourite things to do. She is not only getting excercise and gets to spend quality time with Owami, but she can also marvel at one of the most amazing views in the world. "Ideally we should be walking up Chapman's Peak every day, but right now we manage once or twice a week," she says.

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden has become a new favourite of hers. Walking through the garden is tranquil and calming, and also gives her inspiration. She has also been up Table Mountain countless times, not only to enjoy the views and the hikes, but also when friends and family come visiting from elsewhere in the country.

"It is the same for Robben Island. I've been there so many times that I could be a tour guide," she says, laughing. "But I love it."

Shado has visited Robben Island numerous times. Photo courtesy of Turkinator

Markets, like the Hout Bay Craft Market, are "a wonderful place to experience who people really are", Shado says, but she also enjoys the vibrancy and multi-national feel of Greenmarket Square and the goodness of organic markets, like the Neighbourgoods Market at the Biscuit Mill and the once-a-week food market in St George's Mall.

"I love the buzz of  the cosmopolitan Greenmarket Square, and it gives us a sense of who we are," she says. 

"One of the greatest things about Cape Town is that you can be in a vineyard in a matter of minutes. We have some of the most beautiful wine farms in the world, and having lunch at one of them is always a highlight."

Having an eclectic palate means that she visits different restaurants as often as she can, but some of her all-time favourites include: Thai restaurant Kitima, which is right on her Hout Bay doorstep, The Maharaj Indian restaurant in Kloof Street, which used to be in Long Street, Marco's for authentic African fare, the Codfather in Camps Bay, and Ethiopian eatery Addis in Cape Town.

Marco's in the city centre is one of her favourite restaurants. Photo courtesy of Vilseskogen

The ocean holds a special place in her heart. Originally from Johannesburg, Shado says living close to the sea and taking a drive along the coastline is always a memorable experience. "Capetonians often take things like that for granted, but we should remind ourselves how blessed we are."

She has a legendary love for jazz, and has hosted a number of music radio shows over the years. 

Her appetite to listen to live jazz is satisfied at the Mahogany Room, a small venue in Buitenkant Street. "They only seat 50 people, so it is very difficult to get in, but so worth it."

"There is always something new and exciting happening in Cape Town. I love going to art exhibitions, museums and cultural events," she said.

  • Shado Twala manages musicians, and is a jazz producer, MC, voice-over artist and a judge on SA's Got Talent


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