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June 18, 2013

Why Rob Vember loves Cape Town

Rob tackling the Cape Argus. Photo supplied

Rob Vember is a radio DJ and proud Capetonian. He grew up in Cape Town and studied in Grahamstown, where, working at the campus station, he was bitten by the radio bug. He returned to the Mother City to join the DJ line-up on Heart FM, and then made the move to Johannesburg to become part of the 5FM team, where he has been for the last few years. He recently made the move back home to continue presenting his weekday show from 5FM's Cape Town studios. We asked him what he loves about the city:

What brings you back to Cape Town?

Work, strangely; I always thought it would be retirement. The radio station took a strategic decision to become even more invested in the region, seeing as we are a national broadcaster and considered me the most well-suited to steer the ship as Cape Town has always been my home.

What did you miss the most when you were away?

I generally have learnt to adapt well when away from home, having been away at varsity in the Eastern Cape before. So I can’t say that I pined for much, although proper Cape Town fish and chips (slap chips), was always one of my first guilty pleasure stops when I was back in town. 

What is your fondest memory of Cape Town, growing up?

My favourite time growing up in the Mother City was always the festive season. Christmas was just simply in the air. It very much had the Christmas vibe with the street lights in Adderley Street, but also just the festive atmosphere regardless of religious affiliation with the night markets in the CBD. There was always a special buzz at that time of year, and a genuine sense of happiness. 

Now you're back, what are your favourite things to do here?

It’s only been a month and sadly my activities haven’t as yet stretched beyond house-hunting! One thing that has surprised me since being back has been my attraction to the beach. Having grown up in the suburbs I was never quite in a position to become a surfer and never longed for the beach. I guess there was comfort in knowing that it was just a short 25-minute drive away, should I have wished to get my feet wet. However, since being back I simply can’t get enough of it. It might have something to do with the fact that I left Cape Town single and returned with three dogs and then some. We were lucky enough to get quite a few idyllic runs in on Milnerton beach with clear views of Table Mountain, Cape Town Stadium and ships anchored in the distance as our backdrop, before winter finally set in. To be fair I walked, the dogs ran. There are other grand plans as well which will hopefully materialise once we’ve settled, like walks in Newlands Forest, another great Sunday afternoon childhood memory. And of course, the food, oh the food! From the typically Cape Flats Gatsby, the aforementioned fish and chips, the more refined world-class restaurants, and of course Cape Malay cuisine, which I love.  

Any tips for places to go in during the Cape Town winter?

If the first weekend in June was anything to go by, then am I allowed to say “stay at home”? In anticipation of the move, I joked with my friends and colleagues that I wished the relocation would have taken place just in time for spring, so that I could skip a Cape Town winter as it certainly is not something which I missed. The one thing I have always complained about in Joburg when I had Capetonians visiting was the lack of things to do. Of course, Joburg has tons of things to do, but not being a native of the city it was not as easy for me to pinpoint, unlike Cape Town where "things to do" are always staring you in the face. I’ve been away for five years so I feel like I need to rediscover what’s hot, but if it involves a full-bodied glass of red in this weather, you can’t go wrong!

Catch Rob Vember on 5FM every weekday from 12h00 to 15h00.

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