Graffiti treasures in Joburg

Graffiti treasures in Joburg

Johannesburg is more than crime and grime and political coalitions! This is my latest piece for the BBC

Hunting the 'Big Five' on South Africa's walls

View on BBC… Click here to read the full article

Extract from the article

“Today we’re going to look for the ‘Big Five!’” South African guide Eelco Meyjes announces from the front of his safari vehicle – a strange thing to hear on the streets of suburban Johannesburg.

But he is not talking about game, but the wildlife depicted in the city’s graffiti.

Infamous for its crime levels and the high walls topped with electric fences, there are many other sides to South Africa’s beating commercial heart – including what is painted on the surfaces of those walls.

Mr Meyjes, a local entrepreneur, studied art at the city’s University of the Witwatersrand, and this led him to an appreciation of its dramatic street creations.

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Winner of the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards for Columns and Opinion, 2023.

Winner of the 2022 National Press Club’s Journalist of the Year: Print/Online Features/ Investigative Journalism Award.

Author of 10 novels, including Red Air and House of War.

Author of a best-selling children’s adventure series called Arabella.

In television, he has worked for a number of international networks, including National Geographic, CNN, BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera English, ZDF, and ARD.

He has written hundreds of articles for publications including BBC, National Geographic Traveler, GQ, Maclean’s Magazine in Canada, TravelAfrica in the UK, The New Zealand Herald, The Buffalo News in the US, The Sunday Times, Business Day, The Sunday Independent in Johannesburg and many others.