Ajsa Samia: My Cape Town

International Folk, Gypsy and Belly Dancer Ajsa Samia talks about her life in Cape Town

Marina Ajsa Samia Rehbein grew up in Serbia before moving to Germany and later settling down in South Africa. Throughout her life she has been a dancer, training under various famous instructors from Egypt, America and Tunis and expressing herself through Folk, Gypsy and Belly Dancing. While working as a nurse in Germany, she founded the Oriental Dance Studio, ‘Palace of the Winds’ and is currently running a registered non-profit studio of the same name in Cape Town. Her medical background shines through in that she uses Belly Dancing in a therapeutic manner, helping people to regain balance and strength both on an emotional and physical level. Marina also leads a successful South African Belly Dance magazine, rakSAfrica and initiated The International Oriental Dance Festival in South Africa.

We caught up with her after a successful festival in 2010.

Right now I am... happy, full of energy but ready for a holiday.

My favourite thing about Cape Town is... the discipline of car drivers when traffic lights are off for some reason.... this is what you don’t see in many other parts of the world. Congratulations to Cape Town!

...and the one thing I would change: violence

Capetonians are... people who I miss when I am not in Cape Town.

Describe a perfect day in Cape Town: Sunshine with a breeze of wind, going to the beach for a walk; having lunch at Simply Asia; going for a walk in Tokai forest or Kirstenbosch garden; going to Mount Nelson Hotel for a cup of coffee and piece of cake; going to the Artscape Theatre and then staying for a dinner in Town.

Travellers should not miss: The International Oriental Dance Festival - but I can’t tell you to go to Muizenberg beach and not to Cape Point or go to Table Mountain and not to Robben Island or… it is very difficult to suggest one attraction to people because everything in Cape Town and surrounds is a must-see for every visitor.               

Where I like to shop: V&A Waterfront

My favourite restaurant in Cape Town is... Pizzeria Borruso’s in Kenilworth

Late at night you can find me... performing or in bed at home.

Pinotage or Peartiser?  Peartiser

When I leave my house I always take... make up and cellphone.

I like to listen to... Gareth Cliff, 5FM.

The craziest thing I’ve ever done is... this is my secret, sorry.

My life won’t be complete without... my family and belly dancing.

When I need to get out of the city... it is usually for performances and for holiday.

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