FUTURE CAPE TOWN | Voices of the City: Ishay Govender-Ypma

‘Cape Town has a wealth of role-models’


Voices of the City is a weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city. This week we hear from Ishay Govender-Ypma, a food and travel blogger.

Question: What about Cape Town inspires you the most?

While Cape Town’s history is deep-rooted and much of it negative, it’s current story has much reason for hope: Cape Town is a city in flux. Cities that are changing are the breeding grounds for economic growth, creative expression and influence. While it’s sometimes frustrating that I can not keep up with what’s happening in Albert Road, Woodstock for example, it excites me that many are taking a chance, hiring a space, selling their wares, collaborating, creating employment, embracing opportunities. The task now, is to take this change and its influencers and inspire the same growth amongst more people all over the city. Cape Town has a wealth of role-models; they need to stand in their power and share their knowledge and expertise in an inclusive manner.In summary: the potential we hold is inspiring.
Q: Do you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?

I live in Milnerton now and it’s off the glam-radar. There are a handful of old but beautiful original Cape Dutch houses that haven’t been persuaded into the standard box-shaped brick-and-glass style common on the Atlantic seaboard – we love seeking them out on walks. While that isn’t secret, every neighbourhood has something simple but memorable to offer, I reckon.

Q: What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?

The Eat Out restaurant awards at Thunder City.

Q: What frustrates you about the city?

Honestly? The denial that true change can not be measured by how clean and beautiful a city is, alone. There are serious problems with integration. A simple example: look around at the locals on the receiving end of service present in the city’s central restaurants, bars, clubs and public spaces. Now insert the denial. The questions we should be asking are “why” and “how we can change this” to make Cape Town reflective of its total population and not just its economic classes, though the argument may persist that these venues and places go hand-in-hand with earning power. If this is the case, ask, why the earning might is still relegated to certain groups over others. We can not afford to shut down our channels of communication about issues that seemingly make a sector of our city-dwellers uncomfortable.

Q: You can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why? 

Let’s go for C. Louis Leipoldt – Afrikaans medical doctor, poet, cookbook and travel author. He was loathed and admired in his time for his many skills and was known to have treated his employees and cooks fairly. They may say differently, though. Many of the Cape Malay recipes he sought were not given to him accurately, which is understandable – he represented the oppressor. I’d love to present him with the accurate versions, cooked by modern Cape Malay cooks and get him talking about the old days, his affairs, his writing methods and love of food.


Voices of the City: Biénne Huisman

Voices of the City: Anja van der Spuy