The colourful suburb of Lenasia


If ever there was a South African suburb that epitomised racial, cultural, and religious tolerance, it would be Lenasia. Established in the south of Johannesburg in the middle of the 20th century, Lenasia has been through the same tumultuous history as the rest of South Africa, and yet it has emerged colourful,unified, accepting, and prosperous in its own right.


History of LenasiaThe area of Lenasia was once owned by Mr. Lenz – a farmer. On his land was a military barracks where, in the mid 1950’s, 50 Indian families came to stay. When it was decided that Lenasia would be the home ground of Johannesburg’s Indians, the area slowly grew into a close-knit community with a strong political opinion and more than a few anti-apartheid activists.Cultural make-up of Lenasia

People looking at Lenasia houses for sale may notice a few things that they have in common: they are large, well-maintained, family homes with good security, fair-sized lawns and a general air of a pride-of-place. While there is a large Indian community because of the origins of the neighbourhood, it isn’t seen as an exclusively Indian area and the community shares its heritage equally with black and white families too.


A very religious neighbourhood

Contrary to many other places in Johannesburg, Lenasia welcomes a hodgepodge mixture of religions, and on any given day, residents will hear the five calls to prayer from mosque minarets by any number of muezzins, as well as musical chanting from the Hindu temples. Many residents also attend the St. Thomas Catholic Church and there is a strong Christian community in Lenasia too. The community will share Diwali, Eid, and the Christian holidays together.


The cricket stadium in Lenasia not only hosts sporting events, but has held many a political rally and other community meetings. In the early part of 2004, a shopping centre was opened near to the stadium, and now boasts very busy shopping periods in its jam-packed stores. There are three community radio stations that feed the area, and Lenasia’s schools embody the strong commitment to education that the community holds in high esteem.

 Visuals are courtesy of : and


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