We’re not in Sandton anymore, Toto

12 Jan

Earlier today I found myself in a brand new mall in a part of the world I don’t visit very often. Cradlestone near Krugersdorp opened late last year. Shopping malls are microcosms of the society they sell stuff to. Each shopping mall in Joburg is the hub of a particular circle of retail life. Bryanston is traditionally waspy. Fourways is young English-speaking families. Hyde Park and Melrose Arch are full of latter day kugels and the super wealthy. Cresta is where you’ll find many coloured residents and hear lots of Afrikaans. And Rosebank has long been the hangout spot of choice for mixed race couples.

Cradlestone, as you’d expect for a mall based on the West Rand, is much more Afrikaans than any shopping centre in Sandton. You’d never see Patricia Lewis in Sandton:

Patricia Lewis

And you’d probably never see a store called Christian Tees.

Christian Tees

Religious stores aren’t that unusual. I’ve seen shops selling Catholic religious iconography on my trabut never an entire retail operation devoted to evangelical Christianity. Christian Tees suggests that you’ll find religious T-shirts, and yep, that’s exactly what you do.

Christian Tshirt designs

This is one of my favourites:

Wash away my iniquity

There are lots of other items besides T-shirts. Israeli flags and Jewish prayer shawls are popular. So are rings, necklaces and posters. Gifts range from dolls for little girls

Gods Girl

To jewelry for bigger ones

Purity Commitment

and a model of the ark of the covenant for the Christian who has everything

Ark of the covenant

So if you’re ever short of gift ideas, you know where to go.

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