July 02, 2012
Discover the history of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront with Oom Willem Steenkamp
Fazielah Williams has lived in and loved her Mother City since birth. Having lived all over the Peninsula during her childhood, she now calls the picturesque City Bowl home and likes nothing more than watching the sun set over Table Bay from the window of her apartment.
A lover of the arts and proud Cape Town fanatic, Fazielah began her writing career by spending many hours as a child conjuring fantastical stories that featured independent heroines from faraway lands who saved the Prince instead. This Capetonian princess has enjoyed stints as a magical arts PRO and TV publicist before finding her calling as a travel writer.
When not waxing lyrical about the Fairest Cape’s most loved attractions and activities and embarking on unexpected adventures, Fazielah can usually be found taking in a show at one of the City’s fabulous theatres.
The V&A Hotel was a mail warehouse, the Breakwater Lodge was a prison and the Hildebrand Restaurant was the Port Master’s offices… sound like fiction? Well, it’s true and you can learn about that, and more, during the V&A Waterfront’s historical tour.
Lead by Willem Steenkamp, the walking tour departs daily from the Chavonnes Battery Museum in the Clock Tower Precinct, offering new insights into the Mother City’s premier shopping destination at the sea side.
Oom Willem, as I’ve come to call him, brings to life the historical significance of the buildings, posts and other mementos in and around the working Table Bay Harbour with a steady soliloquy of facts and jokes. At just R50 per person, this 45-minute meander is well worth the cost and not a bad way of jogging your primary school history lesson memories.
A celebrated author and retired journalist, Oom Willem recently released his latest novel Assegais, Drums and Dragoons.
I sat down for a chat with him to talk about his love of history, why he adores Cape Town and why the Castle of Good Hope is his favourite place in Cape Town.
For more information and tour bookings, call the Chavonnes Battery Museum on +27 21 416 6230 or visit www.chavonnesmuseum.co.za.