Wednesday

Eyewitness Cape Town – Capetonian News Editor Merentia Van der Vent

Merentia Van der Vent is a news editor at radio station Tygerberg in Cape Town. She always wanted to write and tell people's stories. While she loves to meet friends and exploring her town (she loves dancing, especially at the Cape Town Carnival) she is also the spokesperson for the Twitter Blanket Drive. The Twitter Blanket Drive (TBD) is a South African, community-driven project to support the poor during the winter months of the year. The initiative started in 2010 with a tweet by founder Melanie Minnaar: “What if each person on Twitter donated a blanket?”

Merentia said she feels proud that “the campaign is literally done by just normal average people and no money is ever used. If I need a logo, some graphic designer would donate time to do one, the hotel where we host the event, give us sound, stage and a venue for free, so ja, just normal people involved” when I asked her what she likes best about the project.

The Twitter Blanket Drive kicks off in April and concludes in seven weeks on Thursday 26th May 2016. The Fire and Ice Hotels are again the main drop-off zones in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. 

Merentia is Busy but Had Time to Answer a Few Questions about Cape Town

The Touristin: Three words that characterize Cape Town?

Merentia Van der Vent: Beautiful, happy, love.

The Touristin: How do you get around Cape Town?

Merentia Van der Vent: I have a small car that can fit into any parking and myself and Tarah (a 2005 Tata Indica) travel all over the Peninsula on a daily basis because I like to see the different parts of my city every day.

The Touristin: What is the best kept secret about Cape Town?

Merentia Van der Vent: That our people are really very friendly and helpful.

The Touristin: What is your favourite borough/suburb/area in Cape Town and why?

Merentia Van der Vent: I have too many favourite suburbs. I've recently taken up jogging and jogging in areas I've never been and totally loving the UCT, Rosebank, Rondebosch area, which is lying just under Table Mountain.

Then sometimes I house sit on the West Coast side of the city (West Beach), which includes that postcard photo, you always see of Table Mountain lying majestically in front of you.

I live in the northern suburbs (Durbanville), which also gives you those vantage points of other majestic mountains in the distance always hovering over you. I also like Muizenberg and Tokai in the southern suburbs, which have more charms of their own.

The Touristin: The best place for a hot chocolate or coffee in Cape Town?

Merentia Van der Vent: I am always trying out new coffee and hot chocolate places but have not found something that stands out. I do however adore the way the coffee gets served at the Cullinan Hotel on the Foreshore. It comes in a really cool glass.

The Touristin: What is one restaurant we must try out while in Cape Town?

Merentia Van der Vent: Sawadee's in Rheede Street is a personal favourite of mine. It is a Thai restaurant. Ever since my friend Philida took me there, many years ago, we always try and make a plan to visit it a few times a year and I always just have the one dish, their crispy fried duck in garlic and pepper sauce. I've not ordered anything else from the menu, these past few years I've been going there, lol... (This reminds me I must go this month).

The Touristin: Where would we meet you on weekends?

Merentia Van der Vent: Markets, markets and markets. If I have free time, I love to visit the Tokai Forest (outdoor) market where I buy special unpasteurized cheeses and "eating clean" bakery items. I buy my free range double-yolk eggs from the Milnerton market on the West Coast side, the Earth Fair (indoor) market, in Tokai, is another favourite.

If I can sneak away from the craziness of my life, I love to hang out at the Hillcrest Berry Farm, just outside Stellenbosch and overdose on berries. Also I like to go to spice shops in Athlone, to find spices and vegetables I've never seen or used. I literally go on mini adventures (I call it #merentiasadventures) every weekend to learn more about and explore my beautiful city. Oh and sometimes on weekends I hike. How can I not hike in this beautiful city of mine?

The Touristin: Do you have a favourite museum/gallery we all have to visit when in Cape Town?

Merentia Van der Vent: I love the Iziko Museum in the Company Gardens although I spend more time outside the museum, walking in the gardens. I was once locked up in the dark hallways of the emergency exit of the museum but thank goodness, someone inside heard my shouting through a door.

The Touristin: What are some of your favourite places to shop for

Merentia Van der Vent: A) groceries: Checkers Hyper, Pick n Pay and Woolworths (if the pocket allows) and B) clothes: I like to buy clothes from Pick n Pay Clothing. I always get compliments and they are not that expensive.

The Touristin: What souvenir shall we bring back from Cape Town?

Merentia Van der Vent: A fridge magnet of Table Mountain, that way whenever you look at the fridge and you see the magnet, you remember the wonderful special and beautiful time you had in Cape Town.

The Touristin: Thank you so very much Merentia, all the very best to you and good luck with the Twitter Blanket Drive. Keep up the very good work.

Find lovely Merentia van der Vent on Twitter and other Eyewitnesses here. If you would like to know what else there is to do in Cape Town, please read 10 fantastic things to do in Cape Town.

From Berlin With Love

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.