Connect with us


#HowWeSA: Mary Edoro enjoyed the Soft Life, Beautiful Culture & Delectable Cuisine in Johannesburg courtesy of SA Tourism | Here’s How It Went

Avatar photo



Hi Chomi!

I’ve just returned from an incredible trip to Johannesburg, South Africa and I’m still on a high note. I gave the exclusive gist to you our dear BellaNaijarians before my tripSouth African Tourism flew me to Johannesburg to experience the bubbly lifestyle, rich culture, delicious cuisine, vibrant nightlife and all the amazing things Jozi has to offer. 

Let me tell you all about it!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)


I travelled from Lagos, Nigeria with fellow media influencers; BeatFM’s Osi Suave, Motolani Alake from PulseNG and Tiktok star Jerry Chuks popularly known as SoftMadeIt – it was such an interesting mix and so there were no boring moments in their company. We arrived at the O.R. Tambo Airpot, Johannesburg after a smooth 6-hour flight and were driven to the scenic Houghton Hotel. The luxury ambience greeted me and I knew I was home. The South African Tourism team also had a thoughtful care package waiting for us.

One thing about me? I love beautiful hotels and The Houghton Hotel no doubt exceeded my expectations. As a self-proclaimed soft-life connoisseur, I was very much in love with the opulent way I felt in their space. Don’t believe me? Watch the room tour here.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

We had the morning to rest and refresh, so I headed to the upper grounds restaurant for breakfast.

In fact, every breakfast I had here was so good. The Houghton Hotel kept me fed and fueled for each day’s activities.

Soon after breakfast, I met up with the full team for introductions and a debrief session. Thekiso Rakolojane,  South African Tourism’s Regional Head: West Africa alongside Mashoto Zimba – Head: Domestic Tourism – South African Tourism warmly welcomed us to Johannesburg and introduced us to the vision behind this tourism trip. 

According to Thekiso, South African tourism aims to promote South Africa globally through people, food and culture. SA tourism also wants to mend the perception of West Africa towards South Africa, counter any negative narratives and show that South Africa is welcoming to West Africans and all Africans.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

We were then introduced to the Ghanaian influencers and South African influencers on the trip: MzDru, Princess Burland and Stella Shanelley from Ghana, Alie Keys, Brian Nzilane, Gift Makoti, The Funny Chef, Pitsi from South Africa.

It was at this point that I knew the trip was going to be packed with ENJOYMENT! The energy and vibe from day 1 was peak!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

Each day was a fun-filled adventure (clearly, I did not want to leave.) Here, I have broken down my trip into the most exciting categories; Food, Fashion, Arts & Culture and Lifestyle – the 7 days I spent in Johannesburg were immersive of the above listed and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Our itinerary for day 1 started with a yummy lunch at La Pergola, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Jo’burg. The view was good and the food was even better. Over wine, pasta and laughs we got to know each other better. The SA influencers also taught us some South African slangs – my personal favourite is XAP! Which literally translates to “sharp” – cool, nice. I’ve been saying xap since my trip – cool neh?. 

That evening, we had a beautiful time with the amazing Chef Thabo. It was my first time meeting Chef Thabo even though he had worked in Lagos and Abuja but his energy was just contagious. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

Chef Thabo gave us a deliciously curated 5-course dinner that fused Nigerian, Ghanaian and South African cuisines in a wonderful way. We were dancing and eating all night – it was really something. Among my favourites; the Fish Peppersoup and the Jollof Rissoto were so tasty and paired perfectly with Zarion Wines.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mary Edoro (@themaryedoro)

The chef also gave us a chance to play around in his kitchen cook the steak. See me get to work, wine in hand – the expert way 😉 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

One of the most memorable food moments was at Pata Pata. In the heart of the Maboneng precinct, we went for lunch at one of the traditional restaurants – I always pride myself on being a foodie that loves to try new dishes from different countries. I put my tongue to the test on this day. The menu consisted of Ox tongue, tripes and trotters, mashed pumpkin and chocolate cake for dessert. 

Watch me try these dishes below


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

Perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had at a restaurant was at Jack Budha in Pretoria. I’ve always heard of South African braai and I settled my curiosity here. Braai is their version of BBQ, outdoor grill, and cookout. We had steak, lamb, sausages, bread and the traditional pap. At Jack Budha, the music was banging, the food was on point and the vibes were just great.

I also found out this snack is called Amakipkip and is where the Amakipkip T-shirt brand got the name from. Who would have thought?

 We had a dance-off too with the three dancers on the trip Soft, Primo Baloyi and Princess – Asaake even reposted the video!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)


There is nothing quite like the arts scene in Johannesburg. One thing I loved so much on this trip was learning about their heroes past, visiting memorable destinations that hold great significance and stories of their heritage and learning about their history.


Popularly known as the “Place of Light” – this precinct is abuzz with a combination of eateries, coffee shops, apparel boutiques, art galleries, retail stores, and studios.

It’s definitely a hub of creative energy and a must-visit when you travel to South Africa.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

The Vintage Bar in Maboneng


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

Art Murals and Graffiti on our stroll around the precinct

Victoria Yards

It is an urban eco-system that houses food & herb gardens, an event space, artist studios and some of the best South African fashion brands.

Victoria Yards’ Sustainable Eco-constructed Building


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

Primal Distillery

Anddddd, we took shots to mark our tour guide’s birthday…


Pretoria is another capital city in South Africa and is just about an hour’s drive from Johannesburg.  Here, we got to visit two major tourist destinations, that fed our eyes and minds – the stories of freedom fighters and activists like Solomon Mahlangu (1956 – 1979) and environmentalist Ephraim Mabena were very inspiring to me – I love the spirit of resilience, collective growth and love of homeland I experienced in South Africa.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

Solomon Mahlangu Square

Built in honour of the unjust killing of Solomon Mahlangu.

Mamelodi Nature Reserve

A former dumpsite which was restored and reformed by Ephraim Mabena.

That’s It Art Gallery

Creativity and personal stories expressed through art.


One of my favourite destinations on this trip was to MaXhosa Studios. Listen, I’ve been a fan of Laduma Ngxokolo for some time now and visiting his studio was nothing short of amazing – the fashion girl in me was blown away. Lately, I have been very passionate about sustainable fashion practices and conscious consumption, one thing I found very interesting and inspiring is MaXhosa’s zero waste policy –  it was so refreshing to find out that leftover fabrics in the factory were used to make patchwork dresses and jackets.

The factory also has a special machine for dethreading textiles and fabrics that got tangled or defective after production. The yarn/thread is removed and then reused.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaijaStyle (@bellanaijastyle)

We also got an opportunity to stop by Tshepo and Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung – two fashion brands deeply rooted in love for culture and heritage but creating beautiful pieces that cater to large customers globally.

The Tshepo & Mantsho Studios in Victoria Yards

The #HowWeSA team fit right in with the eclectic fashion scene in Johannesburg, on Friday night, we hit the town dressed up to the nines. 

Check out some of our looks below!


Posed with Princess Burland

Princess Burland

The Funny Chef



Pitsi S

Motolani Alake

Stella Shanelley and MzDru

Osi Suave

Stella Shanelley

You can also check out my style guide to Johannesburg here


DSTV Delicious Festival 2022

One of the key parts of my trip was attending the two-day DSTV Delicious Festival 2022. There are no words to describe how bubbly and vibrant the event was. We arrived chauffeur-driven to the festival grounds and made our way to the luxury VIP tents where we enjoyed a great view of the performances and had some good cocktails and yummy meals.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

While we were enjoying the Amapiano beats, I took the opportunity to learn some new dance moves from Soft – uhm, not sure how I did. Let me know lol


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

The performances for Day 1 were electrifying, with hit music from Major League, Nissi among others performed back to back.

But we were all eagerly waiting for our very own African Giant! Burna Boy returned to South Africa that night and gave an unforgettable performance. We were all up dancing and vibing till the end of the show.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BellaNaija (@bellanaijaonline)

It was estimated that there were over 20,000 festival goers at the DSTV Delicious Festival that day – wow!

Mogudu Mondays at Ayepyep

For the official last night in Johannesburg, the SA Tourism team treated us to a very South African goodbye – Mogudu Monday at Ayepyep. No Lagos club prepared me for the energy at Mogudu Monday. The music was loud and popping – from top charting Nigerian music to body-shaking SA beats, the #HowWeSA crew was on the dance floor, the bottles were flowing in and we had such an amazing night out.

We recovered from the night out with a Lunch and Spa Date at the Sandton Hotel, Sandton.

West Africa met South Africa and it was truly phenomenal. The friendships and the memories made over these 7 days will not easily be forgotten! Check out some of our group photos below

Thanks to @bellanaijaonline for having me host this trip and a major shoutout to South African Tourism for being amazing hosts and for showing us the best of Johannesburg.

I hope you enjoyed following my updates on @bellanaijaonline #BNxSAT #HowWeSA

See ya real soon, in a city close to you *wink*

Mary Edoro is the Chief of Staff/Head of Strategy at BellaNaija. Formally the Head of Content at BellaNaija Style, her passion for the promotion of Africa's creative industry solidified her place in editorial and through strategic partnerships and successful campaigns with leading international brands, Mary is fast becoming a key figure in the innovation and growth of Africa's media and creative industries. Follow her on Instagram @themaryedoro

Star Features