Destination Johannesburg: Dancer Kitty Phetla

Interviews | 16th Jun 2017

Leading ballerina, choreographer and model Kitty Phetla tells us about her passion for her home city, sharing her favourite places and things to do in Johannesburg.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a dancer with Joburg Ballet  – we’re a full-time professional ballet company based at Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein. I was born and grew up in Jozi and I love this city!

What should more people know about Johannesburg?
People should really take the time to notice the beautifully arched trees over the roads in the Joburg suburbs – it’s hard to miss them when it’s spring and the jacarandas are in bloom, but at other times of the year you can even see giant strelitzias and jasmine from the freeway. People should look around them more when they drive in the city and appreciate how green it is.

How would you spend your perfect 48 hours in Johannesburg?
I’d start with my show on Radio 2000 and play some music from my favourite playlists. I’m on air from 3am – 6am, so once I’m done I’d have an early 7am tee off at the golf course – Gardener Ross Country Estate has a long course, but it’s magical. Then it’s time to home, freshen up, have a siesta, then go out with friends for sundowners and dinner. If it’s my perfect 48 hours then Marble restaurant in Rosebank would be top of my list.  The next day would start with a relaxed run through my area – there are lots of plots with stables and ostriches, so it’s a great place to exercise and unwind. I’d spend the early afternoon catching up on some TV series – I love binge watching box sets – then there’s just enough time to drop into Gallery MOMO and end the day with dinner at The Local Grill just down the road.

What’s your favourite place for a dose of culture in the city?
The Orbit Jazz Club
– magical jazz music happens there!

Best boutiques to find one-off creations?
Thula Sindi
boutique in Rosebank is my favourite – half my closet is filled with his gorgeous feminine designs. For shoes, I love Socrati for the great mix of Italian and Brazilian styles.

Where would you meet out-of-town friends for a drink?
I think I’d take them a little way outside the city, maybe to Casa Linga in Muldersdrift. They serve amazing Italian food, with something on the menu for everyone.

Where’s the best place to sit and watch the world go by?
Pigalle
in Melrose Arch, because you can see outside into the square, especially if you sit near the glass window.

We often overlook what’s on our doorstep – is there anything you still need to do in Johannesburg?
The Hector Petersen Museum
– I’ve stood outside and shown friends exactly where it is when we’re taking a trip around Soweto, but I’ve never been inside.

Three words to describe Johannesburg?
Mysterious, musical and magical.


Joburg Ballet’s upcoming seasons at Joburg Theatre will be two world premieres:

‘Big City, Big Dreams’ a collaboration with Moving Into Dance Mophatong and Vuyani Dance Theatre (28 July – 6 August 2017)

‘Snow White’ a new production choreographed by Iain himself (13 – 22 October 2017)


The Saxon concierge is on hand to help guests arrange a wide array of city experiences, including advising on upcoming ballet and theatre productions, and securing sought-after tickets.


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