First Chinatown Walking Tour

Discover First Chinatown as guided by Samantha Sun

Chinese people have moved to South Africa in different waves of migration. As a result of these waves occurring many years apart and during major shifts in South Africa’s political and economic change, these migrants have dispersed themselves across Johannesburg and have settled in hidden spaces far from each other. The First Chinatown on the edge of Ferreirasdorp is one of these spaces where a Chinese cultural enclave has formed. This area was occupied by the first wave of Cantonese miners to Johannesburg. This precinct was known as Malay Camp, or “Malaikem” as the Chinese called it. Over time, this hidden space was re-appropriated by the Cantonese. What was a mining camp, then transformed into a Chinese cultural hub of services and trades. Although today it appears as a forgotten historical corner of the city, it still remains a place of memory for the Chinese people of Johannesburg.

Maximum Number of Participants: 30

Type of Participants Invited: Professional architects, architecture students, professional artists and art students are all welcome.

Equipment: Bring pocket money for some light shopping at the local Chinese supermarket and possibly some lunch at a popular traditional Cantonese restaurant.

About the Organiser:

Samantha Sun has recently graduated with a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Witwatersrand. Her interests lie in the architectural exchange between China and Africa, especially with the current business relationship formed between these two countries. This poses the question of how architecture can play a role in enhancing an understanding between cultures to create a gateway for communication.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Visit the tour’s Facebook Event Page or visit this link for more information.