Pedestrians tussle for space with colourful traders hawking sim cards, weaves and plastic plates overloaded with apples, bananas and oranges. In Covid times, masks in bright wax print also feature strongly.

Energy radiates off broken pavements. Languages from across the continent meld with hooting taxis and rhythmic melodies, spilling from streetside shops. Residents walk with purpose, always wary of an opportunistic thief — quick to snatch a dangling cellphone, or unguarded wallet. Welcome to Hillbrow!..

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