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HOPS ON ROOFTOPS

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It is a year, almost to the day, since I fi first met urban hop farmer Khaya Maloney. Looking back, it kind of sounded like one of those rendezvous your mom warned you about. I had “met” Khaya on Twitter and slid into his DMs to arrange a visit to his rooftop hop garden. “Set your GPS to Constitution Hill parking garage,” he had typed. “When you get there, the security guard will point out where I am.” 

It’s not a part of Johannesburg I am particularly familiar or comfortable with but at least there was a security guard, I had thought. On arrival at the car park I was less comforted by the presence of said guard. I got the distinct impression that I had woken him from a light slumber. And who could blame him? Mine seemed to be the only vehicle in the entire car park and as my footsteps echoed in the near-darkness, scenes from old episodes of 24 rattled around my head.