Actor Matthew Ribnick shares his favourite hangout spots in Joburg
When he isn't tickling the funny-bone on stage, Matthew Ribnick enjoys all the city has to offer with his family. The 45 year old actor, who is from Randburg, shares a bit more about himself and his favourite spots in Joburg.
Best place for a first date in the city?
A late afternoon picnic in the Shakespeare Garden at Johannesburg Botanical Gardens.
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive back in Joburg from out of town?
Take my dog for a long walk at Delta Park. She loves going for a swim while there.
Best meal you’ve had in Joburg, that’s not at home?
I love the steak at Chaplin’s Grill in Hurlingham. On a cold winter's day though, I prefer a pasta at Il Contadino in Parktown North.
What local song can't you stop listening to?
Since her appearance on Kelly Clarkson’s show, I actually can’t stop listening to Sho Madjozi’s song "John Cena"...I love all the TikTok responses and videos to this specific song. too.
And what local TV show are you loving right now?
"Noot vir Noot". Interesting that it was Indian people, who first introduced me to this Afrikaans game show.
What’s the last South African movie you watched?
"Kings of Mulberry Street".
And the last stage play?
"The Boy Who Cried Ninja".
When was the last time you attended a music concert/festival and who was performing?
It’s been a while; November 2018, Global Citizen featuring Beyoncé, Jay Z, Ed Sheeren, Cassper Nyovest...
What's your earliest memory of Joburg?
Visiting Hillbrow in the mid-eighties, it reminded me of the New York City that I had seen in movies. Having grown up in the suburbs of the East Rand, Hillbrow was like another world.
So if you were Mayor for the day, what would you do?
Scrap the council fee on street posters advertising local theatre, music and arts endeavors - the council fees on street posters are ridiculous and artists can’t afford it.
Your favourite hangout spot in the city?
Zoo Lake in the late afternoon.
The best-kept secret in the city?
The National Children’s Theatre - they stage amazing theatrical productions for children.
Where is the best place to let your hair down?
I don’t have hair but I love fencing at Tyshler Fencing school in Walter Sisulu Hall. I haven’t been there in a while, though.
Who do you call when you want to have fun and where in the city do you go?
I usually call any of my friends who have kids and we go to mushroom farm park for a picnic and catch-up conversation while the kids play.
Your favourite coffee shop?
Epoch Cafe in Maboneng.
Favourite place to shop in Joburg?
Cresta Shopping Centre.
Vilakazi Street (Soweto), Maboneng Precinct (Johannesburg CBD), Menlyn (Pretoria) or 4th Avenue (Parkhurst). Which do you prefer and why?
Maboneng Precinct, I really just prefer the atmosphere there. It’s got a proper city vibe whereas the other places you mention don’t.
Which is your favourite market in Joburg and why?
The Moonlight Meander Market at the Stable’s Village Market in Chartwell. There’s a great variety of food and my son loves it there.
Which building in Joburg would you love to own and why?
Foxwood House in Houghton. I believe it has the potential to be a world famous theatre venue and hotel.
Which building would you like to be locked in overnight and why?
Collectors Treasury in Commissioner Street in the Joburg CBD. This place is a gem with an insane amount of used and rare books stacked from the floor to the ceiling. Apparently, it’s the largest used book store in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s complete madness despite the fact that the store has 8 floors. I once spent a morning there just reading old postcards. It is such an interesting place.
What’s the one thing people need to stop doing in the city?
Littering and illegal dumping.
Where is the best view of Joburg?
I Love the view from the restaurant at the Four Seasons in Westcliff, particularly from mid-Spring till early autumn.
What’s the one thing that differentiates Joburg from other cities in South Africa?
We are much friendlier in traffic and on the roads in general - there is a common courtesy that exists between drivers and I think this is remarkable.
Where would you suggest first-time visitors to the city go to get the best experience in the city?
Take a short ride in a mini-bus taxi, but you do this at your own risk.
Lastly, how do you spend your Sunday?
We attend the 10.15am family mass at St. Michael’s Anglican Church in Bryanston. Then we go and do groceries before heading home for a Sunday afternoon nap. After that, it's time to take our dog for a run (and swim) at Delta Park.