By Nqobile Shoba and Kirsten Harris
Welcome, Joza’s most well-known shebeen, is the spot to be at! “The sisters of the quart”, Sis’ Bethina and Sis’ Khethiwe, decided to invade the local Joza hangout and find out what all the buzz was about. Situated in the heart of Joza, Welcome is laid against a backdrop of hard thumping kasi music, jiving “sika la khekehe” moves and sizzling braai stands. It was no surprise then to us that when we arrived everyone was welcoming. Talking to the manager and son of the owner of the shebeen, Patrick Mzwekhaya, it is easy to see why the spot is so popular, “Firstly it’s the fresh meat Monday to Monday”, Patrick said. “We also offer good service to customers, and even if they don’t have money we don’t judge, people are accepted here.”
Students are encouraged to come to the shebeen which offers some of the cheapest booze specials in Grahamstown. Quarts start at R8,00 and Mzwekhaya says, “We get many students coming in and buying liquor because of our prices and we appreciate the support.”
He does not condone underage drinking, violence or drugs and wants the people that come to the shebeen to support them by abiding by certain rules and regulations in order to maintain standards.
Those of you who are looking for a more homely experience, good meat and drink, try Welcome on a Sunday afternoon for ‘tshisa inyama’, a braai.
For students who go to Welcome it feels like you’ve left Grahamstown; it’s something different and offers a diversity of people that make you feel at home. According to Michael, a Joza local, “Welcome is a place where all the colours of the rainbow meet the booze is cheap and there is always someone different to talk to.”
Mzwekhaya offers his customers a cultural experience and homely hospitality.
Welcome is open “Monday to Monday” from 08:00 am to 02:00 am, 365 days a year. “We offer good service, good meat and drink and we are patient and will look after you” he says.