Local personality Buli G tells us about her neighbourhood

Private Property South Africa
Eleanor Douglas-Meyers

Walmer was once a small town on its own, but is now part of the heart of the city, with restaurants and businesses lining the streets.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone more devoted to her neighbourhood than Buli G. The Walmer-based former radio and TV presenter has a host of accolades under her belt – from being named one of the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans, to The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s Top 40 under 40 – and despite offers to live in a number of other areas, she always gravitates “back home”.

She lived in Walmer with her parents when she was in her twenties and when they retired and left the city, she vowed to buy property in the area herself. She has been a Walmer homeowner for five years and having lived there for many years before, she says the most notable difference has been homes giving way for businesses.

Walmer was once a small town on its own, but is now part of the heart of the city, with restaurants and businesses lining the streets.

According to Buli G, there is comfort in the predictability of the area. “It’s generally quiet. The vibe comes from some select eateries and stores mushrooming here and there on the major roads. That means peak times are set and predictable.”

When it comes to her own home she loves the original wooden floors, high ceilings and side doorways – a trademark of homes in the area. “Some homes have been renovated, but looking down my street I see a lot of similarity in the original design of all the homes.”

Walmer is one of the most sought-after areas in the city and it’s easy to see why. The large homes and quiet streets coupled with its proximity to the rest of the city make it an ideal setting.

The birdlife is a pleasure to observe. I never thought I'd say that out loud, but you come to appreciate certain things as you get older.

Buli G

Things Buli G loves about Walmer

  • The restaurants and the bespoke stores and boutiques. I love that we have plenty of bakeries selling artisanal bread and offering wonderful breakfasts. 
  • The pavements are jogging- and dog-walking-friendly.
  • The gardens offer an escape from the city – I've been in some gardens where I completely forgot I was still in the city. The mature trees here are a big plus!

What three things might people not know about the area?

It's very multicultural. My neighbours come from three different countries. Walmer is less expensive for the value you get. I bought a fixer-upper in 2012 and I’m still hard-pressed to find a deal where I can get as much space and greenery for the same price. I believe that Walmer has become one of the most central places in PE. With the city expanding on all sides, the area is conveniently located.

Three little known facts about Buli G:

  • In my 20s, I took art classes and painted as a hobby. I sold a painting to a lady living in Joburg. That was the one and only painting I ever painted. After that I became a collector.
  • I can do the splits – it's my only party trick (I was a gymnast as a kid).
  • I had the great honour of singing the National Anthem with the late Mama Africa Miriam Makeba at the city's 10 years of democracy celebrations.

Property statistics

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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