Mbube Son of Nelson Mandela’s Soweto ‘father’, Chief Jonginthaba

Soweto self-guided visit a Passport to Soweto

Mbube  Son of Nelson Mandela’s Soweto ‘father’, Chief Jonginthaba

From 2005 to 2010, Mbube Mdingi, eldest son of Chief Jonginthaba Mdingi, and I, shared a strange ‘street relationship’. In the early years of our Soweto activities, I was in Soweto every day, and at some stage during the day, our paths would cross. I loved interacting with him, a strange serious man, who was probably living in circumstances that did not allow him to take me home with him.

So, the bulk of our time together, was spent in either his maroon Kombi, or my blue Kombi.

Mbube Mdingi, is part of Passport to Soweto, through his father Chief Jonginthaba Mdingi’s heritage, and link to the ‘Royal House of the Gcaleka’.

Mbube, a MK activist,  while we were interaction, told me that he was imprisoned on Robben Island early in 1970s, released in 1975, carrying specific instructions from Nelson Mandela, to infiltrate the Soweto youth and start to politicise them.

His brother Vuyo, on two occasions told me that he was on Robben Island, after June 16, 1976, I ignored his comments, so sure that Mbube had given me an accurate story, once I discover the PAC Robben Island prisoners, I find that Vuyo was correct, Mbube was imprisoned on Robben Island from November 25, 1977 to September 29, 1978 following his involvement when moving the youth into exile.

Chief Jonginthaba Mdingi, and Nelson Mandela; 

I was introduced to house 1807 in 2005 by Mbube Mdingi, and the initial attraction was the fact that ‘Nelson and Winnie Mandela, had their wedding celebrations in this house in 1958’, as a result of the tribal family links that they had to Chief Jonginthaba.

Whether this claim is valid or not, was at this stage in 2005, not sufficient to develop a tourist interest route that would compete with the Orlando West route, so this house remained just an interest when passing by. Whether in Alexandra or Kliptown, I will be introduced to properties where the locals claim Nelson Mandela participated in some sort of activity, or was accommodated while on the run.

When I started to research the Mdingi Family for the ‘Passport to Soweto’, one of the persons of interest was Herbert Mdingi, thanks to the street and school name, and presto, thanks to the Walter & Albertina Sisulu, ‘In our Lifetime’ book, I discover a link to Chief Hintsa, right here in the home of Chief Jonginthaba.

The Mdingi family, importantly are descendants of the Royal House of the Gcaleka, and deserving of a place in the Passport to Soweto.

The family link to the Royal House of the Gcaleka, excited me, in 2013 I researched South Africa’s history, and having discovered a close link between the shooting of Chief Hintsa, May 12, 1835;

Chief Hintsa
Chief Hintsa

The sort of official version of Chief Hintsa’s death, is that he had been accused of having stolen 25 000 head of cattle, he was asked to return the Cattle, and then decided to flee, when in flight, he was shot, shot in the back of the head, and his ears chopped off, his head removed.

And the emancipation of the Mfengu tribe, by Reverend Ayliff, May 14, 1835, two days apart, and no more than sixty miles away, I question how Chief Hintsa, a powerful leader, a tactician, would have gone into discussion without been tricked, and the chief would never have put his life in danger, to save a few head of cattle.

In my opinion, he became aware of the threat that the Mfengu as an allied force with the English, would have on the future of the amaGcaleka, and he was therefore a threat to the English colonisation plans.

I cover the murder of the great Chief Hintsa, in my book, Consider the Verdict, where I link the murder to the emancipation of the Mfengu tribe, by Reverend Ayliff, once again, my personal version.

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Mbube Son of Nelson Mandela’s Soweto ‘father’, Chief Jonginthaba

Is Mbube Mdingi’s claim that Nelson & Winnie’s wedding celebration took place at Chief Jonginthaba’s home correct? 

For years I have accepted this, but as we publish Passport to Soweto, I need to seek an answer to this question, and refer back to Long Walk to Freedom.

1: The naming of Nelson Mandela’s daughters:

The Mdingi family are proud of the fact that their father, Chief Jonginthaba Mdingi, thanks to his position in the family, named Nelson Mandela’s two daughters, yet, according to the Long Walk to Freedom, this involvement is reflected as follows:

My relative, Chief Mdingi, suggested the name Zenani, which means “What have you brought to the world?” — a poetic name that embodies a challenge, suggesting that one must contribute something to society. It is a name one does not simply possess, but has to live up to.

The entry in the Long Walk to Freedom surprises me, Nelson Mandela has, according to the family, always used Chief Mdingi’s ‘Praise name’, Chief Jonginthaba, yet in the Long walk to Freedom, this respect does not take place.

Let me first present my understanding of ‘Praise Name’.

Nelson Mandela, as a young man, lived under the guardianship of Chief David Jonginthaba, and his heritage is well documented about him, and his cousin Justice, the son of Chief Jonginthaba, running away from arranged marriages by the Chief.

When Mbube Mdingi, the eldest son of the Tshawe Mdingi Chief Jonginthaba, first introduced me to this property in 2005, he explained to me that Chief Jonginthaba Mdingi, in relation to Nelson Mandela, was the traditional senior, being from the Royal House, when Nelson Mandela married Winnie in 1958, they had a wedding day lunch reception, at this, his elders home.

What I need to get my mind around, is my confusion of clan names, when a Chief or elder, is known by his ‘praise name’. Jonginthaba, in the Chief Mdingi position, is his ‘praise name’, and his clan name is Tshawe, this clan represents the ruling house among the Xhosa, including Chief Hintsa and his descendants.

Rohilhlahala Nelson Mandela, of the Madiba clan, was given his praise name, Dalibungha, ‘Founder of the Bungha’, ‘the Traditional ruling House of the Transkei’. Many elders would only know Nelson Mandela as Rohilhlahala, or Dalibungha,

Elders and Traditionalists attach greater respect and importance to this name, and when greeting or celebrating him, used the praise name, ‘Aaah Dalibungha’, and when the use of this praise name takes place, all participants in the event, will stand and call out the praise name, ‘Aaah Dalibungha’.

According to the letters that Mbube passed on to me, letters written to Mbube while he was on Robben Island, Nelson Mandela, even while talking to the Mdingi family, would refer to their father, Chief Mdingi, by his Praise Name, Chief Jonginthaba.

In the following letter, the family link that Mbube had to Nelson Mandela, is reflected, should be dated Nov 25, 1977;

Letter from Nelson Mandela to Mbube Mdingi
Letter from Nelson Mandela to Mbube Mdingi

Mtshana, I was very happy to hear that you were on the Island, and especially to receive your warm and encouraging role in which you told me about Chief Jonginthaba and your mum. However you said very little about the family, Sobuza, his brothers and your sister. She was a beautiful young lady and must now be at University, or already married. A few years back, I heard that Sobuza was married to Nobuntu and should like you to confirm it when you reply. I also hope that Bazindlovu’s family is keeping well and that his children were able to go to school. 

Ishawe and I were excited when we saw you through the window as you lined up for X-ray, just outside our cells. Ishawe literally dragged me from the court-yard and we were sorry that you did not see us. Your build, height and face, reminded us of your father, but we hope to see you one day. In the hospital I saw your name written on the board and the old saying is that prevention is better than cure. Exercise regularly and you will feel the difference. Inqubela has carried the picture of Humahtshona twice. The first one disappeared about 7 years ago, and the second one is a  current one.  

In Johannesburg he had progress we views and hope than even as ruling chief, he is just as militant. I am sure that you know that you are not the first of Phalos descendants to be sent to this island. Maqoma was deported to this island twice. Perhaps it will give you much encouragement and hope to know that you are also helping to preserve that family tradition. I hope you are getting visits. I last saw Chief Jonginthaba when he visited me at the Fort in 1962. He looked well and impressive as usual. I was happy to get Kgathos message and hope that the years will run very quickly for you. What is the name of your wife and what was her maiden surname? 

My fondest regards to you and all Comrades. Malume.  Amandla.

This letter would have been written in 1978.

(Mtshana translated in ‘Nephew’)

Letter from Nelson Mandela to Mbube Mdingi
Letter from Nelson Mandela to Mbube Mdingi

Mtshana,

Zindzi visited Chief Jonginthaba, at Bara Hospital where he is lying ill with diabetes. She found him cheerful & he even joked about the fact that he is on his way to his ancestors. Zindzi thinks his condition is not so bad and expects him to return home soon. We know how strong and courage the Chief is & we are also hopeful that he will be alright. We wish him a speedy recovery, & look forward to news from home confirming that he is on his feet again. Meantime keep strong and relax. We trust that you are receiving visits and letters. Fondest regard to all the comrades and the family. Amandla! Malume.

2: The claimed Wedding Celebration at Chief  Mdingi:

This is possibly the most challenging concept that, based on my limited understanding of African Culture, I give my reason for why the Wedding Celebration would have taken place and Chief Jonginthaba’s home, as Traditional Elder.

The following extracts from Long Walk to Freedom, does not include this family connection, during the Soweto celebrations after the wedding in Bizana.

The wedding took place on June 14, 1958. I applied for a relaxation of my banning orders and was given six days’ leave of absence from Johannesburg. I also arranged for lobola, the traditional brideprice, to be paid to Winnie’s father.

The wedding party left Johannesburg very early on the morning of June 12, and we arrived in Bizana late that afternoon. My first stop, as always when one was banned, was the police station to report that I had arrived. At dusk, we then went to the bride’s place, Mbongweni, as was customary.

…..   The entire executive of the ANC had been invited, but bans limited their attendance. Among those who came were Duma Nokwe, Lilian Ngoyi, Dr. James Njongwe, Dr. Wilson Conco, and Victor Tyamzashe.

After the ceremony, a piece of the wedding cake was wrapped up for the bride to bring to the groom’s ancestral home for the second part of the wedding. But it was never to be, for my leave of absence was up and we had to return to Johannesburg. Winnie carefully stored the cake in anticipation of that day. At our house, number 8115 Orlando West, a large party of friends and family were there to welcome us back. A sheep had been slaughtered and there was a feast in our honor.

I placed the extracts as per the Long Walk to Freedom, purely for the reader to understand that I have given consideration to whether Mbube’s claim has merit or not.

The only area that I bring into debate is the last two sentences.

At our house, number 8115 Orlando West, a large party of friends and family were there to welcome us back. A sheep had been slaughtered and there was a feast in our honor.

During my schooling in African Culture, in many Townships and Rural Villages, I have attended many celebrations, witnessed many celebrations, here we are looking at the period 1958, and my schooling takes place after 2004, but the celebration at 8115 Orlando West, brings into questioning my schooling.

My observations is that the Elder Family Home, is where the celebration always takes place, or, were things different in 1958.

In my limited opinion, either the home of Chief Jonginthaba Mdingi, or the home of Walter Sisulu, would, as elders to Nelson Mandela, have been the home where the elders and family would have prepared for the celebration.

It is unusual for these families to have taken the celebration into the home of the newly weds, particularly, not during the times that bans were in place on most of the ANC members.

I am further of the opinion that, if Walter Sisulu was the senior elder, in 1958, preference would have been given to the Mdingi home, in order to avoid attention from the Security Forces.

I trust that this support of the Mbube claim, will encourage interest to visit with the community.

Thus, in my opinion, Mbube’s claim that he witnessed the celebration in 1958, I give credence to.

The Passport holder will find great interest in uncovering what version they believe has credence.

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In 2005, when Mbube introduced me to this house, he never introduced himself as the elder son of Chief Jonginthaba, was he embarrassed at the lack of respect and support from Nelson Mandela and the ANC, as related to this relationship.

Possibly he was avoiding the question that I would have asked:  “Why has Nelson Mandela never visited your family since being released?”

He needs not have concerned himself, my research only finds Mrs Lollan as having been visited, even the Dada family of Kliptown, was not visited.

In general, if your heritage did not feature in the ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, the system kept you out of the Nelson Mandela interaction after release, almost as if it was the manual that decided who should be recognised.

Read more details in Passport to Soweto

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Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day

Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day, a special event if you are going to be visiting Soweto on September 1, this is the first of special experience visits that Taste of Africa offered through the Passport to Soweto Responsible Tourism initiative.

Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day with Passport to Soweto
Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day with Passport to Soweto

Passport to Soweto, a guide that gives direction to using the Integrated Public Transport system, the Gautrain and Rea Vaya bus, and gives guidance and direction, including all the Heritage Value sites, bringing you the magic of Africa, while, everything you pay, goes directly to the community.

Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day with Passport to Soweto
Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day with Passport to Soweto

Spring Day is a magic fun day, one that should not be missed:

Your day will be filled with visits to Heritage Value Sites, details of the various sites are slowly filling the Passport to Soweto blog, allowing you the option to watch the blog grow, and ask any questions.

On Spring Day, Nettie and Cedric will be enjoying the day with the visitor.

For international visitors, you may either buy your Passport to Soweto through Createspace;  or alternatively, Buy from our Store; in which case we will despatch a .pdf version to you, and your Passport to Soweto will be delivered  to your Johannesburg accommodation, or await you in Soweto.

We guarantee that this will be the highlight of your visit to South Africa.

Cedric and Nettie de la Harpe

 

 

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Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park, Taste of Africa celebrates ten years of successful contribution to homestay;

Your link to the menu page:

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park, living at home with a local family, is possible, in most parts of where you would like to travel, to experience, the magic of Africa.

Sorry, it is possible to enjoy this with the elite, in the suburbs, but not as easily achieved.

Taste of Africa, has provided shack accommodation in Soweto from late 2004, and Homestay would be no different.

Nettie and I embarked on this proves on December 26, 2005, starting in the Matiyani Village, where we have our home today, 

Homestay Africa; Matiyani, Cedric & Netties new home,
Homestay Africa,Matiyani, Cedric & Netties new home,

and keeping close to the Kruger National Park, we ended up in St Lucia, where we met Marrah.

On February 21, 2006, a Swiss couple, spent three nights with us in our shack, having not booked their next holiday stop, I was able to sell the Zulu Village, homestay opportunity with Marrah.

They departed on the City to City bus, and Marrah arranged to have them collected in Richards Bay.

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park:

Today, we celebrate ten years of Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park, without needing to hide behind the high security fences, we have never had any security issue.  

Homestay Africs, our first guests that we hosted in a KZN Village, 24 February 2006
Homestay Africa, our first guests that we hosted in a KZN Village, 24 February 2006 

YOUR HOME-STAY AFRICA SOWETO TO KRUGER PARK, –   INTRODUCTION:

Your most important part of the visit is the introduction.

In African Culture introductions include where you are from, who your parents are, your children and all other relevant aspects.

Often the lengthy introduction builds the relationship through common interests or family structures.

Homestay Africa, mainly double beds
Homestay Africa, mainly double beds
And in the more rural villages, single foam mattresses.

Kitchens can be modern;

24 hours in Soweto, a typical kitchen
24 hours in Soweto, a typical kitchen

Or, in the more rural villages, ‘cooking down’ by the fire:

Homestay Africa, cooking down in many rural villages
Homestay Africa, cooking down in many rural villages

Most important NOTICE:

Soweto generally has pretty good facilities, however, they will be shared by you and the family.

In the Villages the accommodation is more traditional.

You room may be in the house, or one of the outside rooms. The toilet / bathroom facility may be inside or outside. 

In the Village your toilet will more than likely be the ‘pit toilet’;

Homestay Africa, the pit-toilet
Homestay Africa, the pit-toilet

Talk to the hosts about how you access them.

The rooms all have double beds, and the hostess is paid R 200 for the room for the night. If you do not wish to share the double bed, we will provide the room as a single, at an additional R 100. 

Washing / bathing in Soweto takes place may in the traditional bath, or, in other areas by using the plastic bath / dish. 

See where the water comes from and whether you can assist in collecting the water.

We make every effort to accommodate you on a rotational basis, however, if you wish to ensure that you do get one of the more comfortable homes, please let us know, at and additional R 100 per person, which will go into a community kitty for all the mothers, we will allow you the choice for a ‘better’ room.

Where we are hosting groups, the group leader must distribute the group according to their understanding of the group, any special requirements, let us know in advance. Should you be in the position to provide us with the names of those who wish to share, 2 pax and 4 pax, we will allocate hostess in advance, reducing your settling time drastically.

Nettie and I have great fun when bathing in the Village
Nettie and I have great fun when bathing in the Village MEALS:

HOMESTAY AFRICA SOWETO TO KRUGER PARK  –  MEALS

Our arrangement is that the host cooks their normal planned meal and just adds to the pot to cater for you.

If you have any diet restrictions please tell the hostess.

The family often does not have the same daily clock that you have, so if hungry at night, do not be afraid to talk, and please make sure they know what time you want your breakfast, coffee or bath.

For groups we will arrange a meal at a local shebeen, or one of the mothers who can cater, with music and magic.

In order to give the visitor the magic vibe, the night includes the provision for the hostesses to join you for the meal. 

Any refreshments that the hostesses may have access to, is not included. 

Beer is freely available at community ‘shebeens’, and should the group wish Taste of Africa to source wine for the group, please order in advance.

Homestay Africa, possible breakfast
Homestay Africa, possible breakfast

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park, the magic of Africa

Return to home:

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Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 7

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 7

Link to Day 6, if you miss it

As  the light rain cools the area, the visitors continue with their Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 6, as the walk the streets, the board-walk, and the beach area in St Lucia.

Fortunately, the rain clears, in time for the group to enjoy the Hippo & Croc cruise;

Taste of Africa 2009 SA-2 005

  Cedric and Nettie, like the Hippo’s enjoy the relaxation;

Day 8 coming:

 

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Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 12

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 12

Our intercultural exchange with Big 5 flavour, departs Skukuza following a morning game drive, spotting lions, late breakfast, driving through to Orpen, picnic lunch er route, and then the Seagull Village, where we immerse in the family life. 

I you missed Day 10&11;

The group is distributed to their families, and then a community meal where we are welcomed by Jimmy Mathubala, the senior of the family.

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Introductions over, Jimmy, as the elder leads the serving process, symbolically showing that the visitors have nothing to fear.

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Then Jimmy as host serves the Nkumbuti,

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The Sangomas dance in welcome and respect for the visitors.

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This will be the last communal meal, till the breakfast on the last morning;

Every leaves, with a new sense of excitement for what lies ahead.

Cedric

Day 13 coming soon;

 

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Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 10&11

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 10&11

If you have missed Day 9

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Day 10 starts with a drive through Hlane with the Game guide,  where lions are a guarantee.

Or, rather, the day starts with a sprained ankle that would impact on the rest of the day.

Simunye clinic does not have bandages or pain killers, so the next three hours is spent on the phone, and Internet to find nearest a medical center.

The Doctor on emergency duty in Komatiepoort,  is both a shock and enlightenment, with regard to a Doctor with poor bedside manners,  or rather, no bed side manners.

Our afternoon drive from Crocodile Bridge to Skukuza, is aborted, and we use the national  roads to access the KNP at the Kruger Gate , only just making it in on time, and then, delayed registration, and arrival in the dark, and supper, all part of the Experience.

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour day 11

A Sunrise walk, a magic experience for all;

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And on the drive back to Skukuza

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Then a sunset drive, evening braai, and we end our Skukuza visit with an early morning game drive with Taste of Africa, where lion is viewed by the group.

Skukuza is enjoyed by all:

Cedric

Day 12, coming soon

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Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 9

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 9

For Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, on Day 9 we transferred to Hlane, one of the Swaziland National Parks.

If you missed Day 8; click here

Tea compliments of Nettie’s brother-in-law, Jakob, at the Nisila Ranch, lunch at the Simunye Country Club, and then the magic of rhino,

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, Rhino at Hlane in Swaziland
Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, Rhino at Hlane in Swaziland

The afternoon is spend at the waterhole, watching rhino and hippo less than 100 yards away.

My camera did not participate as Nettie and I prepare for supper, when we complete day 18 we will add pics from the archives, while editing and publishing all posts.

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour

Rhino up close, Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, at Hlane in Swaziland
Rhino up close, Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, at Hlane in Swaziland

Cedric & Nettie love the ambience of the camp, the accommodation, the space to enjoy yourself around the fire, plus the access to the animals.

Intercultural exchange with Big 5 flavour, Hlane Swaziland
Intercultural exchange with Big 5 flavour, Hlane Swaziland
Intercultural exchange with Big 5 flavour, Hlane Swaziland
Intercultural exchange with Big 5 flavour, Hlane Swaziland
Intercultural exchange with Big 5 flavour, Hlane Swaziland
Intercultural exchange with Big 5 flavour, Hlane Swaziland

Cedric

Day 10; coming soon

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Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 8

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 8

Day 8 is different, relaxing, a walk on the boardwalk and then snorkelling and picnic lunch on the beach at Cape Vidal.

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Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, and the rhino

And then a close encounter with a rhino.

On our way back to St Lucia, we get a close look at 3 white rhino,

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, the rhino
Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, the rhino
Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, the rhino
Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, the rhino
Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, the rhino
Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, the rhino
Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, the rhino
Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour, the rhino

St Lucia, one of our touristy stops, thanks to the snorkelling experience, where, once you are under the water, you are no longer a tourist, and then the unexpected close encounter with rhino, brings the magic to our 3 night stop, 

Day 9 coming soon

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Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 6

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 6


Day 5:  if you missed it

Intercultural exchange with  Big 5 flavour tests emotions when it comes to the goodbyes.

On morning 6 we have long  emotional farewells, as we head off to St Lucia.

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A five hour road trip to St Lucia, a welcome shower, rest, supper at a Portuguese restaurant, and our break from Africa, has arrived.

 

Cedric de la Harpe

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Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 5

Intercultural Exchange with Big 5 flavour Susquehanna University day 5

Day 4; if you missed it:

The Intercultural Exchange with the Big 5 flavour, Day 5, started on the afternoon of Day 4 as we start negotiations to have a free day, away from the schools and traditional dancing.

Day 5, is a day that I will never forget, a day that I received, another qualification from the University of Knowledge;

We initially achieve an agreement to a  visit, restricted to 4 students, but by the end of our negotiations, six students and a professor are committed, or is it sacrificed.

Added to the negotiations is the concept that the host village were of the opinion that we were leaving this morning.

I spent hours sorting through the emails in preparation for this mornings meeting.

The conflict is resolved without and discussion, without allowing me to explain the arrangements, “the matter is on the ground”, the elders state.

We all go off in different directions, Nettie and I, welcomed in homes we had not visited before.

Joseph is excited about the birth of twin sheep two days back, and invites us in for a closer look at look.

Intercultural Exchange with the Big 5 flavour, leaves Nettie and I with a magic feeling as we interact with Joseph and his Mother, neither speaking English
Intercultural Exchange with the Big 5 flavour, leaves Nettie and I with a magic feeling as we interact with Joseph and his Mother, neither speaking English
Joseph invites us into view his twin sheep, born two days back. He is very proud, and we believe this occurrence does not happen often in his flock
Joseph invites us into view his twin sheep, born two days back. He is very proud, and we believe this occurrence does not happen often in his flock

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The Intercultural Exchange with the Big 5 flavour

We pass a few of the group, on one of the homesteads, we take pictures but do not wish to disturb their cultural exchange;

Intercultural Exchange as one of the host family, explains life in the Village.
Intercultural Exchange as one of the host family, explains life in the Village.

Then, a visit to the ‘Nguni by the road’ family, where after the formalities we are required to experience their traditional dress.

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Cedric wishes to buy the shield, but the units belong to the brother, after a little discussion, they part with the father’s headpiece, a moment that will link Cedric to this Nguni family for ever.

 

Intercultural Exchange taking place without a word said. except for the ages of the young herd boys;

Late on day 5, I wonder onto Mr Zulu’s homestead, where I witness the cultivation of a young male first hand. During the visit to the Chief, Principal Nyembe tells our group, how young Zulu boys are developed, this development, and the entire initiation process, is not just, what my ‘white mind’ would define as a ‘few weeks in the mountains’, where the 16 year-old guides the 12 year-old, who guide the 9 year-old, who guides the six year-old, who guides the 3 year-old. 

I smiled when I listened to this very theoretical description of culture, till this experience;

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The 16 year-old approaches to ensure the 3 year-old properly secures the sheep for the night.
The 16 year-old approaches to ensure the 3 year-old properly secures the sheep for the night.

This cultivation process needs to be observed to be believed:

Supper planned at Benjamin Equine’s homestead, again tonight, 

Then at the farewell super, head-lady Nguni brings the wishes of Chief Molefe, and to the surprise of all, a marriage proposal, much to the joy of all.

The identity of the future bride is not for me to reveal.

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One of Nettie and I’s greatest days so far;

Cedric

Day 6; following soon.

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