Alexandra is Johannesburg's oldest township. Located just 5km from the Sandton Business District, it is worlds apart from Africa's richest square mile. Old Alex is a confusing maze of higgledy-piggledy housing and shackland clinging to the banks of the Jukskei River. Its narrow streets seethe with life, colour and thousands of people. Vividly painted storefronts are tucked in among the houses offering everything from fashion to healing muti, churches to tuckshops, driving lessons kiosks and hair salons.
Jeff Mulaudzi is the charming founder of Alexandra Bicycle Tours. He meets visitors at the Marlboro Gautrain station and takes small groups on two- or four-hour cycling tours to stops that include several of Alex’s most historic sites – including Nelson Mandela’s former home – as well as to a shebeen (an informal tavern where home-brewed beer is sold) and a café serving traditional kotas: hollowed-out quarter loaves of bread filled with meat, cheese, chips and spicy atchar.
Young, ambitious and very dedicated to his community, Jeff is an inspirational figure to many, combining his talents as a tour guide with an entrepreneurial spirit that has seen his business grow to also include community bicycle schemes and other projects which he hopes will help improve life for the people of Alex.