The street that revived a city’s creative spirit

 
 
 

Nadia Jonker knew something special was happening when she visited the Station Drive Precinct in 2015. The once derelict area was in the process of transformation – creative entrepreneurs in Durban had a vision for change. They were converting the empty shells of buildings and disused spaces into a place to house and grow their collective talents. Jonker, a crafter, blogger and creative consultant, wanted to be a part of it.

Station Drive is now considered the creative hub of Durban. Since its revamp, the area has encouraged job creation and provided opportunities for people to pursue their craft. When Jonker moved into an office space there, she found inspiration at every corner. The Precinct is a hive of activity for clothing designers, jewellers, artists, baristas, and tattooists. There’s even a distillery on site. “It shows the development and change that is happening within our culturally diverse city,” Jonker says. What used to be grey spaces are now filled with light. Graffiti by local street artist, Resoborg, adds colour. Jonker has drawn from the creativity of the area. “It’s the place that I’ve used to shape and build my brand and craft,” Jonker says.

What draws locals to the place isn’t just the aesthetic changes. “The thing that binds Station Drive together is the people,” Jonker says. “Everybody is passionate about what they do.” It’s this passion that’s reframing the image of Jonker’s hometown, thought to be a city that moves at a slower pace compared to its urban counterparts. “Station Drive represents a different view of Durban,” Jonker says. The place exemplifies the energy, talent, and verve that is driving the city forward. “Station Drive reinforces my belief in South Africans, creative people, entrepreneurs, and everything that we have to offer,” Jonker says. Every time she’s here, Jonker is reminded of the beauty we create when we work together.