Sophiatown, or Sof'town or Kofifi, in the 1950s has been immortalised in countless literary and musical works. Then it was the epicentre of Joburg's jazz, politics and literary scenes, a vibrant, multi-racial community that while poor was culturally rich beyond measure. In 1955 the neighbourhood was cruelly and brutally crushed by the apartheid authorities who bulldozed the entire area and forced its residents to move to distant townships, each of them segregated according to race. Only three of the original buildings from old Sophiatown remain - a church, an orphanage and the home of Dr Alfred Bitini (AB) Xuma (now the Sophiatown - The Mix and community centre).
Mbali Zwane of Eyitha Tours leads tours through Sophiatown that follow the stories and lives of the musicians, writers and activists who grew up in this community before its destruction in 1955. Tours also can be arranged to include a visit to the Fietas Museum (another nearby neighbourhood that was a victim of the forced removals) and lunch in Fordsburg. There is also a five hour Sophiatown to Soweto tour that traces the journey of the forcibly removed residents of Sophiatown to the Meadowlands area of Soweto.