The 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.
That 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.
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.