Tune in: Joburg podcasts we love

07 Dec 2023
Road trips are welcome year-round as far as we’re concerned, but summer in South Africa is practically synonymous with hopping in your car and hitting the open road. The more winding the journey, the better, punctuated with padstal (farm stall) pitstops and stay-overs in characterful small towns. A good road trip is accompanied by good music, but when you can’t agree on the playlist, podcasts have wider appeal. If you’re heading out of Joburg for the holidays, we've found a way to take a piece of the city with you. Here is our list of six excellent podcasts that make us proud to call this city home.


Charles Leonard is an award-winning podcaster, journalist, editor and DJ who’s been working in the industry for more than 35 years. He’s also a man after our own hearts, playing host to a fascinating 12-part podcast series called This is Jo’burg. Leonard’s maxim is, and we quote, “Life’s too short to do boring journalism.”

In the first episode, Leonard joins Barbara Masekela – poet, mother, educator and activist, and Nelson Mandela’s former chief of staff – for a road trip around her beloved city. She recounts her memories and expresses her hopes for Joburg’s future. A tough act to follow, but Leonard succeeds.

Through this limited series, we meet Joburg’s top crime reporter Everson Luhanga and feared gangster Ndumiso Thinto, hear the outsider stories of three newer arrivals to the City of Gold, each from different backgrounds, and discover exactly why Joburg’s jazz stands out. We also hear from the residents of the diverse neighbourhood of Brixton, and how they’re banding together to find solutions to the city's problems, while the closing episode tackles a complex question: how do you preserve your roots and culture in an alien city?

This is Jo’burg is a thrilling ride and a beautiful tapestry of stories about Johannesburg and the people who make it special.

Listen on Mixcloud.
Charles Leonard has a knack for finding Joburg's most interesting stories. Photo: Charles Leonard.


The most outward-facing endeavour of Latitudes (launched as an online platform to sell art) is the RMB Latitudes Art Fair – which launched in 2023 and is now a regular fixture on the Joburg arts scene. But this many-armed organisation does much more. Its multipurpose exhibition space, the Latitudes Centre for the Arts (LCA), is nestled within the magnificent Shepstone Gardens and is dedicated to the year-round promotion of African artists and galleries. The Latitudes Podcast carries this physical pursuit into the digital realm, admirably so.

Exploring new ways of thinking about contemporary visual arts from Africa, the podcast comes out twice monthly and is hosted by broadcast journalist and art-lover Refiloe Mpakanyane. These conversations rope in arts practitioners of all persuasions. Gallerist extraordinaire Mark Read (of Everard Read fame, Africa’s oldest commercial gallery) sheds light on his philanthropy and philosophy around art, while visual artist Cinga Samson opens up about staying grounded amidst his meteoric rise in the global art world. Auctioneer and Modernist art enthusiast Alastair Meredith speaks to the secondary arts market and shares stories of unexpected encounters with forgotten art gems. In another episode, we hear from New York-born, South African-based artist Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi about making as a way of thinking and releasing.

If you’re at all interested in the history of art in Africa and the contemporary art world today, this podcast is brimming with treasures, straight from the source. 

Listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Latitudes Podcast guest Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi in studio. Photo: Nina Lieska/Stevenson.


Founded by Nandi Dlepu, the powerhouse behind Mamakashaka arts and culture agency, and British–Zimbabwean fashion designer and educator Farai Simoyi, Bloom is a community-building platform for creative women. The likes of Yasmin Furmie, Lady Skollie and Cassandra Tswala have joined in chorus at Bloom’s live events, which are usually centred around candid conversations with trailblazing women in the creative industries.

Bloom’s newly launched podcast series carries these conversations even further. The first episode of Women In Bloom stars fashion force Bee Diamondhead, who joins Dlepu to chart her soaring career and how she’s navigated the challenges and successes along the way. Illustrator, art director and film director Pr$dnt Honey is in the spotlight next – we’re all ears.  

Listen on Spotify.


Is your search for a movie to watch turning into a doom scroll? Close Netflix and cue The Video Store – a wonderful weekly podcast from the man behind Joburg’s much-loved indie cinema, The Bioscope, based at 44 Stanley in Milpark. Russell Grant was a film studies graduate in 2009 when he realised there was a gap in what sort of movies made it to the big screen in Johannesburg. He conceived of and built The Bioscope art-house cinema; its first home in Maboneng and now it resides at Milpark’s 44 Stanley.

Though he’s deeply knowledgeable thanks to more than two decades of experience in the industry, The Video Store lets us be a fly on the wall while Grant and friends talk candidly about the movies they love and why. Acclaimed South African filmmakers, actors, artists and musicians have joined in these delightful, insightful conversations, as well as many other creative types. In Cantona James's episode, the Spinners star tells about his lead role in the Showmax original and the films he’s loved throughout his life. Theatre man Rob van Vuuren worked near Grant when POPArt theatre was also in Maboneng, and the two reunite for The Video Store to unpack Van Vuuren’s chameleon cast of characters and the movies that made him. Thinker and filmmaker Milisuthando Bongela joins Grant to talk about her favourite films and her directorial debut – Milisuthando – which premiered at Sundance in 2023.

No more wondering what to watch next. Listen to The Video Store and you’ll come away inspired by some of South Africa’s sharpest minds, all united by their love of film.

Listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Actor Rob van Vuuren joins Russell Grant in studio to chat about the movies that made him. Photo: The Bioscope.


Studio Nxumalo is best, albeit broadly described as a visual arts project. Run by independent artist and curator Musa N. Nxumalo, the studio works closely with artists and art galleries, art institutions and hospitality spaces to develop exhibitions. The Studio Nxumalo Podcast is a storytelling device, chronicling the lives of artists from South Africa and abroad.

The podcast rallies a diverse crowd. Nxumalo chats with Berlin-based graffiti writer Manuel Osterholt aka SuperBlast about hip-hop, hardcore punk and all things DIY. Sasol New Signatures 2022 winner Mondli Mbhele joins the show for a deep dive into dreams, church and preserving traditions. In other episodes, realist painter John Kramer reflects on practice and process, his work a loving meditation on small-town life in South Africa, while Durban-born, self-taught photographer Mandisa Buthelezi joins the cast for a thoughtful conversation about culture and creativity. With a new episode released every Tuesday, these are conversations that draw out artists’ inner worlds. You never quite know what you’re going to find, but the surprise is worth sticking around for.

Listen on YouTube and Spotify.


Creativity and community go hand in hand for Lwazi Madonsela, the brains behind the popular Cnr Juta and De Beer podcast. Named after two intersecting streets in the heart of Joburg’s Braamfontein, many of the city’s brightest entrepreneurs have been uniquely shaped by their time spent in this neighbourhood – who Madonsela calls the "Braam generation". 

Part love letter to South African street culture, part free mentoring sessions, this podcast sits within the edutainment niche and racked up three million social media views in its first three months alone. A stellar cast has joined the ranks of Cnr Juta and De Beer, from the matriarch of Joburg’s legendary party Until Until Amahle-Imvelo Jaxa to experimental artist Seth Pimental aka African Ginger, whose murals grace the city streets, and influential art director and man of many talents Xzavier Zulu. Madonsela and his guests get real about translating their ideas into sustainable businesses, making this an interesting and thought-provoking listen and a brilliant resource for up-and-coming creative entrepreneurs to sink their teeth into.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, YouTube and Spotify.

The proof of a city is in its people. Press play on any of these podcasts and get to know the vibrant personalities who make Joburg such an exciting place to be. 

Latitudes Centre for the Arts

10 Hope Road, Mountain View, Johannesburg
Latitudes Centre f


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