Susquehanna University; Inter-cultural visit to South Africa, May 2014, Day 6,

AToalogo.jpg

Taste of Africa is hosting 15 Creative Writing students from the Susquehanna University, (plus two of their Professors):

THIS IS SOUTH AFRICA: enjoyKRUGER PARK SAFARI, while part of the South & African Culture,

LIVING IN VILLAGE HOME-STAY, Commencing in the Alexandra Township, and then 3 nights of Immersion in Zulu Culture, in a Village in the Nqutu area.  We then visit St Lucia for 2 nights, as we take some R&R, drive through Swaziland, and spend a night in a Swazi Village outside the Numbi Gate. A drive through the Panorama Route, a night in a Shangaan Village outside the Orpen Gate. A day-drive through the Park to Punda Maria, 3 nights outside the Punda Maria Gate in Cedric & Nettie’s home village, a night outside Pafuri Gate, with a Venda Community, (a night in the Art community in Elim, and then end with a night in Soweto), or 2 nights in Pretoria:

DAY 6:  21st May 2014       –    visit day 5:

Following five busy, and energy sapping days, we have a late breakfast and the group divide into two and head off in different directions.

It is our driver Lebo’s first experience at the sea, so he has the privilege of joining the group for the morning, leaving Cedric to walk back to the Apartment and do the ‘lunch’ shopping en route.

Glen and his group walk the Board-walk, a must do activity in St Lucia,

Boardwalk3

Boardwalk2

Boardwalk

the second group walk directly to the beach from the Apartments.

At lunch time, Lebo returns for the lunch, as we had prepared a picnic lunch.

We arrive at the beach just as a sudden rain storm passes over, and we need to rerun to the Apartment for the picnic lunch, missing the beach picnic.

Beachpic

After lunch the students all head off in different directions to enjoy St Lucia.

The evening the students tackle the task of giving us South Africans a braai around the pool area, with an American barbecue flavour.

The socialising continues as some of us take our leave early.

Cedric’s comment:

I have no pic’s for the day, and trust that one of the group will forward a few that they would like to attach to this post:

 

Follow us on day 7:     coming

 

Return Home: 

'If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:'

Susquehanna University; Inter-cultural visit to South Africa, May 2014, Day 5,

AToalogo.jpg

Taste of Africa is hosting 15 Creative Writing students from the Susquehanna University, (plus two Directors):

THIS IS SOUTH AFRICA:  enjoy KRUGER PARK SAFARI, while part of the South & African Culture,

LIVING IN VILLAGE HOME-STAY, Commencing in the Alexandra Township, and then 3 nights of Immersion in Zulu Culture, in a Village in the Nqutu area.  We then visit St Lucia for 2 nights, as we take some R&R, drive through Swaziland, and spend a night in a Swazi Village outside the Numbi Gate. A drive through the Panorama Route, a night in a Shangaan Village outside the Orpen Gate. A day-drive through the Park to Punda Maria, 3 nights outside the Punda Maria Gate in Cedric & Nettie’s home village, a night outside Pafuri Gate, with a Venda Community, (a night in the Art community in Elim, and then end with a night in Soweto), or 2 nights in Pretoria:

DAY 5:  20th May 2014       –     visit day 4:

We wake early, breakfast at 06:30 and then fond good-byes as we leave for St Lucia.

Since the dog-hunting was ruled at at this village, I endeavoured to arrange a short outing for the group, and had planned to travel via Vryheid and Nongoma to achieve this. As we were departing our host Benjamin advised me against this road, and as I had not been on this road for some time I was hesitant.

I first took the road, but then, as my principles of ensuring the safety of our group on the road, and took the longer, safer route, causing us to arrive at the lunch / dog hunting destination ninety minutes late.

Maradogs

ZuluDogs

Nettie and I will be looking at this route when we visit Ncume during July.

After lunch we arrived in St Lucia, just in time to board the last Hippo & Croc cruise.

HippoSTL

Ceocadile

Our group then had supper at a local restaurant, the food was good, but they got an insight into just how bad South Africa’s service can be.

After the previous 4 days and night, we needed the rest and relaxation:

 

 Follow us on Day 6, 21st May:

 

'If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:'

Susquehanna University; Inter-cultural visit to South Africa, May 2014, Day 4,

AToalogo.jpg

Taste of Africa is hosting 15 Creative Writing students from the Susquehanna University, (plus two Directors):

THIS IS SOUTH AFRICA:  enjoy KRUGER PARK SAFARI, while part of the South & African Culture,

LIVING IN VILLAGE HOME-STAY, Commencing in the Alexandra Township, and then 3 nights of Immersion in Zulu Culture, in a Village in the Nqutu area.  We then visit St Lucia for 2 nights, as we take some R&R, drive through Swaziland, and spend a night in a Swazi Village outside the Numbi Gate. A drive through the Panorama Route, a night in a Shangaan Village outside the Orpen Gate. A day-drive through the Park to Punda Maria, 3 nights outside the Punda Maria Gate in Cedric & Nettie’s home village, a night outside Pafuri Gate, with a Venda Community, (a night in the Art community in Elim, and then end with a night in Soweto), or 2 nights in Pretoria:

DAY 4:  19th May 2014       –     visit day 3:

The day I failed the group, but learnt from my mistakes during the school visit:

The drive from the accommodation to the school is a long one, and it took the village some convincing that the grouyp should walk. I would have love the group to experience the energy of the children scurrying to beat the discipline of arriving late at the gate. We were encouraged  to leave early, walked on our own, but, fortunately, three of the group experienced what we intended.

Velaphansi

Schoolplusteacher

SchoolDance

And then another personal highlight, ox-head, cooked by Principal Mandla Nyembe, my best tasting ox-head meal ever: 

oxhead

Not too much excitement from the group:

Then our last night in the Zulu Village:  

Zululastnight

Zilulastnight2

The three boys got the luxury accommodation:

Zululuxuryacc

Cedric’s personal comments:

The experience wass not quite what we intended but we learnt a lot from it.

Sorry 2014 group, but the groups who follow will benefit from this experience.

 Follow us on Day 5, 20th May:

 

'If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:'

Susquehanna University; Inter-cultural visit to South Africa, May 2014, Day 3,

AToalogo.jpg

Taste of Africa is hosting 15 Creative Writing students from the Susquehanna University, (plus two Directors):

THIS IS SOUTH AFRICA:  enjoy KRUGER PARK SAFARI, while part of the South & African Culture,

LIVING IN VILLAGE HOME-STAY, Commencing in the Alexandra Township, and then 3 nights of Immersion in Zulu Culture, in a Village in the Nqutu area.  We then visit St Lucia for 2 nights, as we take some R&R, drive through Swaziland, and spend a night in a Swazi Village outside the Numbi Gate. A drive through the Panorama Route, a night in a Shangaan Village outside the Orpen Gate. A day-drive through the Park to Punda Maria, 3 nights outside the Punda Maria Gate in Cedric & Nettie’s home village, a night outside Pafuri Gate, with a Venda Community, (a night in the Art community in Elim, and then end with a night in Soweto), or 2 nights in Pretoria:

DAY 3:  18th May 2014       –     visit day 2:

 Following the very two busy days, and the early rising in Alexandra, we have one of our late breakfasts at 09:00

We plan a walk around the village, meeting the other sub-groups families.

We visit with Sidney Mthobene family, where Chris and Colin was staying. Young Derrick does not introduce us to his family, rather to his culture. He takes us to one of his neighbours who is able to show the full cultural dress code..

ZuluVillage1

SothiDressZuluhome
Then, as early as 11:00, Cyprian Mnguni sees a few locals at the soccer field and hurries us down to the field before we complete the home visits.

I am initially irritated due to the lack of activity, the few locals that were at the field when we get there, could have been brought to us at one of the homesteads.

ZuluDance

Then, the motivation for getting us into position, appears from the East, all the early preparation was due to the Chief attending the celebrations:

 

Only today, as I feflect on this day, do I realize the extent that this community paid their respects to us as a group, very seldom will the Chief be present at such a non-traditional celebration:

ZuluDancechief

Then the magic of the afternoon:

Zuludance3

 

ZuluDance2

ZuluDanc11

During this stage I had the opportunity of having a personal chat to the Chief, and when he was ready to leave, 15:00, we said our good-byes:

And then, another magic experience, the Chief, Moreme Molefe, and his family join us for lunch.

To the group who had only heard of my two highlights on the trip, this is another one:

We end our very late lunch at 17:00 and need to report for supper at 19:00, braai at the Mnguni homestead.

Zulusopper3

Cedric’s comment:

Following our evening introduction to culture, and now Derrick, maybe my request that our visitors are introduced to their culture was not necessary?

The Chief’s participation at the dance and joining us for lunch was very special.

At the start of the evening I attempted to get the Zullu community to break their culture of men eating first and separately, in order to allow the female students the same privileges that the male students were enjoying, but I was unable to budge them off their culture.

As the trip continues, I realise that even the local woman, will not budge from their culture and traditions:

Another magic day, a few highlights on this day  :

 

 Follow us on Day 4, 19th May:

 

'If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:'

Summer Holiday in Soweto

AToalogo.jpg

SUMMER HOLIDAY, another smile for the Baby-Boomers:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/OfAB52p7nPs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

'If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:'

Kruger Safari, Ostrich Love

Kruger Safari, Ostrich Love moment,
Kruger Safari, Ostrich Love moment,

This was a light moment in hours of searching for the Big 5, our Kruger Safari ‘Ostrich Love’ moment.

Kruger Safari, fun even if we miss all the Big 5.

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/tC70kxRYe4A” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Return Home: 

'If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:'

June 16th 1976, – Youth Day, Hector Pietersen Museum

AToalogo.jpg

JUNE 16TH 1976.

This day is one of our most important days in our history. I have spoken to a number of people that were present on that day and details differ considerably. I have selected Mbube Mdingi’s recollection of his memories, even though they change over a period, they talk about the reason why the students were in the position they were when the shots were fired.

 We honour those 1976 children, those who preceded them and those who followed them for making our Nation a better Nation. 

“I have a friend, Mbube Mdingi, ANC Mk Cadre, I will relate his version of what took place in 1976 as best as I can.

“During late 1975, the Nationalist system started implementing the system of converting the black schools to using Afrikaans, as a medium of instruction in the schools. This would have been impossible for a white English child, no matter how bilingual you are. I was very bilingual, but I would never have coped.”

“Those teachers and head-masters that showed any little objection to Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, were summarily dismissed, and replaced by a headmaster and teachers who supported the change.”

“Here on the left, Phefeni High School, this is one of the schools where the Head-Master had been dismissed and a new Head-Master in position.”

“Just about a week before June 16th 1976, the members of the school student committees held a meeting in the Orlando community hall to discuss the problem. At this meeting Tsietsi Mashinini was elected as Chairperson of the SSRC, Soweto Students Representative Council. During this meeting, the SSRC decided that they would arrange a mass protest march into Johannesburg to make their anti- Afrikaans and Apartheid Government known to the system.”

“They were still preparing for the mass march, when the Minister started introducing the changed syllabus at this high-school, Phefeni. This took place on the morning of the 15th June 1976. The representative of the Phefeni schools committee immediately contacted Tsetsi Mashinini and notified him. He then made contact with the representatives of all the other schools, there were 70 schools involved, and arranged that they have a protest meeting the very next day, the 16th June 1976.”

“All the schools were going to march via Phefeni high-school, where they were going to have a peaceful demonstration against the implementation of Afrikaans in the schools.”

“On the morning of June 16th 1976, the school children had started their peaceful protest march from the far reaches of Soweto, Deep Soweto, – Emndeni, – Naledi. They moved passed the other schools on the way, and collected the scholars as they passed.”

“When the head of the procession arrived just here at these gates, all the senior student representatives were in the front of the procession. To their disgust they found that the Phefeni scholars had been locked inside the property and this head-master would not permit them to join demonstration.”

“The entire procession had come to a halt, and the students attempted to encourage the head-master to release their fellow scholars. They were chanting and singing, chanting and dancing. They were protesting against the implementation of Afrikaans in the schools and they were protesting against the apartheid system.”

“Let us move up the road to the next corner, Moema Street. According to Mbube, Vilikazi Street, as far as you can see up the hill was a sea of children. This mass of children overflowed into the side streets.”

“Mbube was on this corner, watching the activities that were taking place down at the school. The local Municipal Police; black-jacks because of the black overalls they wore, must have been aware of the protest march because they were down at the school entrance in full force. All the black police were armed with batons, and only the white was armed.”

“Mbube says that the police were shouting at the students in a derogatory manner trying to force them to return to their schools. The students were chanting protests while at the same time exchanging pleasantries with the police. Soon the South African Police started to arrive from the side streets and Mbube saw them approaching from that direction. The South African Police at this stage were waving whips while threatening the students.”

“Then a shot rang out from the direction of the Phefeni school gate. All of a sudden he heard shots fired from a number of directions. Hector Pietersen was not far from where Mbube was, when the bullet hit him, when Hector dropped.”

“All hell broke loose in this area, after the shots were fired, the children returned with rocks and stones.”

“Hector Pietersen was picked up by Mbuyisa Makhubu and carried along Moema Street, towards the far main road to pick up transport. The photograph that the world knows so well shows this event with Hector’s sister, in anguish, walking alongside.”

“Yes, I think that photograph went around the world a few times before it got to our white press. We were living in Greytown, a small town in Natal. I became aware of the unrest in Soweto, but I always thought the children were objecting to having to learn Afrikaans as a subject. The response from the white community was why bother teaching them Afrikaans if they do not want to learn Afrikaans.”

During the past year I often thought back to just why I was so unaware of the 1976 events, then recently while surfing the web, I found some history on one of our white activists, a young teacher in 1976, teaching in Greytown where we were living, at that stage and her recollections, or lack of recollections around the uprising were similar to mine.

“That photograph, I believe was taken here, then just across there, the journalist Sofie Thema stopped her yellow VW Beetle and they loaded Hector Pietersen into the back of her car.”

“Sofie was going to take Hector to the Baragwanath Hospital, but as she turned this corner, she saw the South African Police had established a road-block and turned back and went up to the clinic that is just a 100 meters up this road.”

“Hector Pietersen was certified dead on arrival, and every year the media will contact Sofie, only once a year is she of interest, and talk to her about that morning.”

“Mbube says that the leaders of the school committees then had a meeting up at the Dube Mens Hostel, 500 m up the road, where they were considering forms of retaliation for the death of Hector Pietersen. Mbube was present at this meeting. Mbube says that the scholars were encouraged to burn all the Beer-halls and Bottle Stores as a form of revenge. The motivation given to the students was that these Beer-halls and Bottle Stores all belonged to the City Council and that the ANC considered them as a destabilising factor on the community by the system. The fathers would arrive at the station on a Friday afternoon, wage envelope in their back pocket. First stop would be the Beer-hall or Bottle store and the father would eventually get home drunk and without money.”

“According to Mbube, at this meeting the scholars made it very clear that they would do no more that burn the Beer-halls and Bottle Stores. They wished no more damage or injury to take place.”

“The Bottle Store, just outside the Dube Mens Hostel, just up the road, was the first Bottle Store to burn.”

“Soweto started burning. The effect that this fire had on our history could never have been anticipated. With the fires came looting, drunkenness, and a charged feeling that was growing throughout the community. Even people ten kilometres away were charged, more buildings were burnt, more looting took place, and numerous children were shot, two whites died.”

“The Police in helicopters, and armed vehicles, criss-crossed Soweto. Throughout Soweto the charged children, with the rebellion against the whites, growing by the minute, gathered in groups to try and find out what was happening. They could see the fires burning in the distance. Where-ever Police found groups of children gathering, they opened fire, killing and wounding.”

“Soweto was burning.”

Mbube says the ANC obtained a list of names of children who the Security Branch was searching for, leaders of the schools, they blamed them for the rioting and burning. The ANC moved the children out of their schools and out of their homes, to safe homes, the Dube Hostel and other families where they would not be found. You could not find a young black child if you could not find him at home or at school.”

“During the next few months, the ANC, the PAC, the local Councillors, the traffic cops, they all filtered students out of the country, initially to Swaziland. Once in Swaziland, the children were given the option to complete their schooling, or move to a military base in Mozambique or Tanzania, where they were going to receive training. Both the PAC and the ANC had operations in Swaziland that were recruiting and attending to the students needs. What the ANC did not realise, was that the Security Branch informants had already infiltrated the schools, prior to June the 16th. These names were on their list, and the ANC moved these informers to Tanzania, Mozambique and other bases with the scholars.”

“These informants were able to feed information back to the Security Branch, on who was receiving training, and what they were being trained for, what the targets were, and who was moving in and out of the camps. This information was devastating and resulted in a number of the youth being arrested soon after arriving back in the country, and being sentenced to terms on Robben Island.”

“The students on June 16th 1976 catapulted Soweto into the homes of the rest of the world. The South African struggle that we managed to keep on the inside pages, was to become front page in the news of the world. The white Government would never survive the power that was rising. Both the PAC and the ANC military forces; received a new boost from the youth that were being recruited.”

“I have read various articles on what happened during that period July 1976 to December 1976. There was an element that motivated going back to school, with their studies being of prime importance and those who promoted the boycott of schooling and the exams. The youth got themselves in ‘work stay away’ demands on the adults.”

“There is no doubt, the country was in the grips of a movement that would change the country and it was not going to stop.”

sowetotourpg1f

Today, as I reflect on our ten years in Soweto, I feel the youth energy bubbling towards change. We need to listen to their voices:

 

Cedric de la Harpe

 

 

'If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:'

Day trip from Johannesburg, Public Transport my first focus:

AToalogo.jpg

DAY TRIPS FROM JOHANNESBURG:

Should you wish a guided Johannesburg visit, with Cedric, please click on Johannesburg with Cedric

As they were raised in Melville, both Nettie and Cedric de la Harpe will not be blamed for promoting Melville as the ideal base for your Johannesburg sojourn.

To assist the budget traveller, and those who would prefer to spend their available on more than just transport, we will run this blog to create a culture of using the cheap transport systems, allowing you to invest in our magic.

Public Transport, getting around Johannesburg and into Soweto on budget:

South Africa has the reputation of having a lack of Public Transport, the majority of the South African public do however get to every corner of South Africa using public transport:

As Taste of Africa promotes the UNSEEN TOURS, Johannesburg, Hillbrow and Alexandra, plus home-stay’s in Villages Outside the Kruger Park gates, Punda Maria, Orpen, and Numbi, we provide these guidelines for those visitors who would like to participate.

We provide guiding services where our guides will meet the visitor at the various Gautrain Stations and as the Reya Veya bus service extends their operations, we will do the same.

Since the 2010 SWC, South Africa has developed a safe integrated transport system, and to support your preparations, we provide a look at what to expect.

The Gautrain / Rea Vaya / Red Bus link at PARK STATION: 

Gautrain Sandton, Rosebank & Centurian stations are well used and as Park Station is the centre of Johannesburg Transport Node, it may have the reputation of being challenged.

You will be pleasantly surprised at the link established between the Park Station, the Red Bus, and the Rea Vaya link to Soweto and other areas:

Your view as you exit the Gautrain Park Station; having used the escalator straight ahead from the exit turnstile,  100 m to ahead of the Red Bus is the Rea Vaya, Park Station, if you used the escalator, 100m to the right of the exit turnstile, you will exit 50m from the Rea Vaya Park Station: 

ReaVayaPark1

Your exit from Gautrain, using the escalator to the right, is to the left of this Park Station on the photo below.

 Rea Vaya Park Station on Rissik Street, move towards your right down the street, and the Rea Vaya station is ahead on your left, on Rissik Street:

ReaVayaT43St

     

For the purposes of this topic, we request that you obtain details and info from the relevant sites.

 Gautrain:                          Rea Vaya:                

This map is aimed to giving you the comfort of knowing what to expected when you reach the main node of the integrated transport link.

R80.001If arriving at Johannesburg’s Park station on the Gautrain, the photo has been taken from the exit of the Station. Directly opposite is the RED BUS, across the road is the Rail Station, and the Red arrow points to the Rea Vaya, T3 bus terminal:

This integrated transport system allows for the R 20 TO R 80 Soweto visit, and links Melville, Rosebank, and Sandton.

Use the Gautrain and T3 Rea Vaya to enjoy the magic of Johannesburg and Soweto at affordable prices.

Taste of Africa promotes Responsible Travel, and Empowerment through tourism, for the little extra for your 3 day visit to Johannesburg, Alexandra & Soweto, please contact us. 

MELVILLE AREA:

The Map gives the visitor insight into where you will locate a T3 bus station to Soweto:

R80.002

Using the T3 Rea Vaya bus to access Soweto, by prior arrangement our guide will meet you at the Orlando Stadium bus station, giving you the Magic of Soweto for R 250 per person, sharing, or, for the more adventures, you may link to our SOWETO SELF-GUIDING VISIT:

 

Return home:

'If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:'