707 Panyaza

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

This weekend we had a delicious dinner at a bumping shebeen called 707 Panyaza in Orlando West, Soweto. We gorged on the buy and braai, achaar (which was more of a [delicious!] salad), pap, and the awesome music . We enjoyed a brew and danced in our chairs (it hadn’t quite turned into a dance party so I had to satisfy myself with remaining in my chair) and received a couple amused looks by the regulars. 707 is going to become a regular stop on our Jozi tour for our future guests and I can’t WAIT to go back and do more than just chair-dance to the music. Nico and Elisabeth also agreed that it was the highlight of our weekend. Much thanks to Steffen and Sibo for the tip.

707 Panyaza is located at:

White City Jabavu, Soweto

1736 Tumahole Street

Punching that into your gps will get you within a kilometer and then just ask around. Enjoy! xx

6 thoughts on “707 Panyaza

  1. Former press photographer is making waves in the township entertainment business scene
    It is not easy to find a table or a seat on Saturday or Sunday after 1pm at Panyazas in White City Jabavu, Soweto.
    The owner is former photographer turned business man, Panyaza Mcineka who now owns and manages one of the most popular shisa-nyama (eateries) in Gauteng. .
    At any given moment on any day there must be at least over 100 people in the entertainment precinct who have walked in to, specifically, eat the tasty meat and special pap and perhaps enjoy spirits, beers, wine or any other drinks.
    The shisa-nyama is in White City Jabavu and has been opened since 2009. This outlet was previously based in Rockville for over 4 years. One of the reasons to move to White City was to ensure that the patrons have enough parking spaces and also to empower other communities in Soweto.
    This is not a beer-hall or place of drink. Most people do not know that I do not deal in booze. “”
    “My main business is not only to prepare and sell the most delicious meat this side of the world but to create a welcoming social and cultural space where people can bond.
    “As far as I am concerned, this is a home away from home for all people who love an infectious social vibe and want to spend quality time in a place that spreads positive cultural vibes and contributes to encouraging brotherhood and spirit of living together.
    “You can say that we are in the business of nation-building and restoring positive values of love, peace and happiness among all our people, irrespective of where they come from,” says Panyaza, as he is popularly known.
    There are over 100 people who are directly and indirectly employed at Panyazas, they are also a number of small businesses that have mushroomed in the area because of Panyaza’s presence. . The popularity of the place attracts over 2000 visitors on a busy weekend.
    “This special place is so special, people use their hands instead of knives and forks, because of the previous history of Soweto it therefore connects one with the spirit of Africa which thrives on the hope, forgiveness, back to the roots and, above all, love of the people for humanity.
    “Panyazas not only gives a human face to the strong and resilient spirit of the people of the townships but is a home for all,” says Panyaza.
    It opens around 9am every morning with people who have come to take out babalaas or hang-over with chakalaka, pap and hot meat but after 12pm its gets busier until very late.
    . There is a state of the art bar which is owned by Panyazas fellow business man, Ralph Zikalala who owns the bottle store and pub as well.
    Significantly, Panyaza will host a special occasion to celebrate his 59th birthday and 9th year birthday of Panyaza Shisa-nyama business over the Freedom Day weekend. The festivities will include a special lunch for the senior citizens of White City who are his neighbors. , Patrons, friends and families have been asked to donate clothes to the orphanage home and old age home of Panyaza’s choice in Soweto. The festivities also include music and popular Dee-Jays every night of this important weekend. “My business’s birthday and my birthday coincide with a special month in which we celebrate the dawn of freedom in our country. It is in this breath that I would like to encourage young people particularly those who were or are disadvantaged to empower themselves through business ventures like I did. ,” said Panyaza.
    But what is the difference or main attraction to Panyazas? Is it the fact that it is in Soweto? How does it manage to attract over 1000 patrons on any given weekend?
    “I suppose it is justified to say the environment and ambience is perfect for the target market. There is focus and consistency on what we do. The marriage between Panyaza Shisa-nyama and 707 has proven that even in townships sole traders or small businesses can merge and produce excellent results. We serve the best meat and pap. Also you have to be imaginative about how you do things that are done by everybody else.
    “Also, there is a mysterious vibe about this place. It has a magnetic pull. Increasingly, we are creating a platform for artists including DJs, comedians and musicians to share what they have with the crowds here.
    “The booze is very cheap, if you think about it,” says Panyaza.
    Some of the artists who have been featured include popular names like:
    DJ Glen Lewis, DJ Cleo, Black Coffee, Liquedeep, Zakes Bantwini, DJ Sbu, Big Naaz, Culo the Song, DJ Professor, to name but a few. There are also resident DJ such as DJ Hloni, DJ Flavour, DJ Cubic, DJ Xolani and others.

    The pace at the club is much faster and longer from his days as a press photographer for City Press where he worked for 19 years. Panyaza left the press in 2003 when he turned 50.
    Before City Press he worked as a dark room technician for 9 years at SAAN when he was just in his 20s. He has taken pictures of some of the most significant events and personalities over the years. Panyaza hopes to put together a portfolio of all his pictures at some time.
    “It was not a difficult decision to leave the newspaper world after I had spent more than half of my life working there. In fact, I have been a photographer from my days at high school. It was photography that taught me to be enterprising and do things for myself.
    “I have always understood that a man has to take full responsibility for what happens to him. Everything that I have done in my life has always been leading me towards being an independent and autonomous business man who not only controls his life but makes a positive contribution to his community.
    “I am proud of the opportunities that photography has opened for me,” said Panyaza.
    It was while doing an assignment that Panyaza was struck by the idea of opening his shisa-nyama. Much as he would like to produce a pictorial book, including about the social vibe at Panyazas, he will not be drawn by anything to leave the work he is into now.
    “This business is the most important thing outside my family, now. I believe we were all put on earth for a reason and I have found my purpose in this venture.
    “It has not made me a multi-millionaire as I did not get it into it for that. All that I care about is that I have helped to create some jobs for over a 100 people, provided a home for those who love fun and created a platform for artists to enrich the soul of this nation. And that, to me, is success,” says Panyaza.
    Since his relocation, the entertainment precinct and vibe in White City has more posh cars, stylish local and international visitors, soccer fans, rugby fans and trendy feel. Most importantly, there is a garden tent, tables, a stage, effective sound system and a nice oval area where things happen at Panyazas.
    The patrons are a mixture of high-flyers and super-achievers who include business people, executives, top ranking government officials, professionals, sports stars, entertainment figures, socialites and not forgetting social climbers and other wanna-bes.
    But at the place itself everybody is equal.

    “My view is that this is a home for all, living testament to the credo that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. What we represent and promote is good business ethics, love, peace, happiness and togetherness,” says Panyaza.
    Panyaza was born in Lilani (Greytown – KZN) but he grew up in Soweto. He always remembers that it is these communities that made him what he is today.
    “I regard the aged as the people who molded my character and created the enabling environment that has made me the kind of person that I think I am: quiet, peaceful, loving and caring.
    “It is for this reason that I have arranged for a special birthday celebration over the Freedom Day weekend where I will invite the elderly not only to share some good times with but get the community to express its appreciation about their contribution.
    “Anyone who thinks Soweto is only about oppression, exploitation, violence and poverty needs to rethink their views and attitude. People are living here.
    “In fact, this is the place that has contributed so much to social and political transformation in South Africa. I am proud to be one of the sons of this township,” says Panyaza.

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