Where great company and even greater literature meet

“We read to know that we are not alone.”- C.S Lewis

It all started with a phone call, an invitation to have Sunday lunch in Soshanguve- Block Aa, at a place called Book Cafe…

Afro-zwanaka Book Cafe

A chance to catch up and recharge with these gentlemen…

I wasn’t sure what to expect, as environment contributes so much to conversation, but I was thrilled to be spending time with some good looking, intellectual men; having chats over a great meal (which only cost us R210)…

The space allowed us to let the afternoon saunter past, welcoming the sunset and the evening breeze. In that time we had chats about the authors and titles that lounged on the shelves around us. We spoke about how their stories speak back to our current world and what titles we intend on creating through our personal existences. As we got deeper into the pages of our African stories we were joined by the owner of this beautiful space and he took our experience to a new level.

Frelimo Mnisi

In our chats with Mnisi he explained how the idea of the book cafe came about, how he had imagined a cafe experience close to home; A place he can share with his neighbours; a place where readers can feel at home. We then started speaking  how many  travel to the suburbs to have a coffee shop experience but at the back of their minds are thoughts about the long journey home. When referring to the need for such a space in his area he said, ” If something is going to be done for my community it must be done by me…”. In his mind one of the best ways to create this experience was to open a cafe. He went on to speak about how the most premier way to experience is through the pages of a book. Mnisi believes that “when [one] reads [they] read on behalf of [their] community.” He created the space to be a place where people can drink coffee and experience books together, engage in dialogue around phrases, concepts and ideas. From my experience I can tell you that this is no ordinary cafe, it is that reading room you wished you had upstairs; and it comes with warm coffee, great food and prime company.

In fact I think I’ll be visiting there every other Sunday. Hope that you can join me for lunch one day.

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