B is for Bo-Kaap and Bondi the Bronzed British Bulldog

Can I complete the whole of Round 9 of ABC Wednesday based only on our experiences and photos from our four week stay in South Africa in February? Only another twenty-five weeks to go!

Bo-Kaap HousesThe Bo-Kaap in Cape Town is one of the world’s most photographed areas, not just by tourists like me, but also by the professionals who are drawn to the brightly coloured houses as a backdrop for a fashion shoot.

Originally known as Wellendorf, the Bo-Kapp, which means Top Cape, was founded in the 1760s by Jan de Waal to house the slaves that the Dutch brought from their eastern colonies. Those slaves brought Islam with them and the Auwal Mosque which is the oldest in South Africa established in 1798.

Bo-KaapThat does not mean that the population was predominantly Muslim — around 50 per cent practised Christianity — but it was declared a residential area for Cape Muslims under the Group Areas Act of 1950 and people of other religions and ethnicity were forced to leave.

The brightly coloured buildings are a relatively new phenomena. Previously they were painted in pastel shades, but this changed in the 1990s.

The Bo-Kaap is a fascinating place to visit and certainly worth spending time there and not just a quick photo opportunity. I particularly recommend the spice market.

BondiLeft is a bronze statue of Bondi, a pedigree British bulldog presented to HMS Verbena in 1928 when the ship visited Lourenço Marques (now Maputo).

Bondi became the ship’s mascot and in January 1931 the ship’s company were preparing for a concert in Knysna, South Africa, when the heat was too much for Bondi and he died.

He was buried on the wharf at Knysna and his grave marked by a grassy mound and brass plate which was tended by any Royal Navy ship visiting the port.

But the tradition did not last long. The last ship’s crew to tend the grave was in 1953 and it was the South African Navy that revived the tradition in 2001.

The bronze statue was commissioned in 2004 and unveiled by Admiral Louw of the SA Navy. Any donations in Bondi’s collection box go towards the running of Knysna Animal Welfare.

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Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

20 comments… Add yours
  • Andy 27th July 2011

    WoW! Interesting facts. The colored houses remind me of the some of the houses in certain Caribbean Islands, which are also very colorful and bright.

    Bondi looks like he was a character back in his days. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Carver 27th July 2011

    Fascinating post. I like those colorful exteriors and Bondi is a beaut of a sculpture.

  • Wanda 27th July 2011

    Well I sure loving you theme for Round 9, and will look forward week to week.

    The houses sure are colorful, and I just adore that statue of the bulldog.

  • rog 27th July 2011

    a very interesting bit of history I know nothing of.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  • Paula Scott: Molokai Girl Studio 27th July 2011

    People love color and always respond to it. Which is wonder why we tend to pick such drab colors in general for our buildings. I say, they got it right, there in Bo-Kaap!

  • Yorkshire Pudding 27th July 2011

    Brilliant blogpost but Britain’s best bloggers believe brave Bondi barked badly.

  • Francisca 27th July 2011

    How can I top Yorkshire Pudding’s comment? LOL! Your B round in brilliant, both tales. I wonder if we will ever let go of the we-they mindset.

  • Francisca 27th July 2011

    PS. To take the photos of the procession posted today I never quite joined in the crowd. There were spaces on the side of procession, some slightly elevated, where I could stand and watch and take my photos. Thanks for your visit.

  • Shirley Lloyd 27th July 2011

    Good blog for the letter B – lots of interesting information – love the sculpture of Bondi – have a good week -Jane

  • Rajesh 27th July 2011

    Wonderful post. It is nice to know about this place.

  • Dishita 27th July 2011

    wonder why they such a sad dog as mascot, atleast the statue looks like it.

    I liked the idea of enabling slideshow in your header 🙂

  • Shanda Oakley 27th July 2011

    Very interesting. The houses reminded me of many areas all through Africa that look similar in size and color. I had never heard Bondi. Nor did I know such importance in those days was placed on a dog!

  • aka Penelope 27th July 2011

    Bondi is quite the character. Carrying all that body mass in the heat sounds difficult! He probably gave a lot of comfort to people and certainly deserves to be memorialized.

  • Wanda 27th July 2011

    In answer to your question about my “drizzle” on the Banana Bread…. powdered sugar, spoon of butter, drop of vanilla, and water to the consistancy to drizzle over the top…then add crushed walnuts.

    Wish I could send you a piece!!!!

  • Jay from The Depp Effect 27th July 2011

    I like your challenge – I hope you make it!

    The Bo Kaap looks rather lovely, even if it does have a sad history.

  • Denise 27th July 2011

    Love the theme idea!
    Great post.
    ABC Team

  • photowannabe 27th July 2011

    Very interesting facts and I can see why the buildings are loved by photographers. Those big bold block of color are pure eye candy.
    To answer your question about the Bellagio Hotel. They have an atrium that is redecorated every month or two with flowers and a fantastic theme. I guess money is no object.

  • RuneE 27th July 2011

    A bit scary background for such a multicoloured and fancy background.

    PS Thank you for the nice comment. It was much appreciated.

  • Joy 27th July 2011

    That is definitely a photographers delight. I do love painted houses. The ones where I used to live used to be all white, now they are all colours, maybe it is a worldwide movement for more colour in our lives:-)
    Like your theme, I’m now trying to imagine how many photographs you took over 4 weeks.

  • liz 30th July 2011

    Love the brightly coloured buildings. It’s so sad the things that have been done in the name of religion.


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