Soweto Favorites

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    by Jenniflower
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    by Jenniflower
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    by Jenniflower

Most Recent Favorites in Soweto

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    A South African Ghost Story

    by Jenniflower Updated Jul 29, 2007

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    Favorite thing: This true story happened in Soweto.

    A man was hitchiking on a very dark night in the middle of a storm. The night was rolling by and there was hardly a car on the road.

    The storm was so strong that he could hardly see his feet in front of him. Suddenly a car came towards him and stopped. Without thinking, he got in and closed the door, only to realise that there was nobody behind the wheel.

    The car moved off slowly. He looked ahead and saw a curve in the road. Scared he started praying, begging for his life. He was terrified. Just before hitting the curve a hand appeared through the window and turned the steering wheel. The man, now paralyzed with fear, watched how the hand kept appearing everytime they got to a curve.

    Gathering all his courage, he jumped out and ran to the nearest lights he could see. Wet and in shock, he went into a bar and asked for a double brandy. After drinking it, he told everyone of the horrible experience he had just had. Everyone was silent when they realised that the man was crying.

    About half an hour later, two men came walking into the shebeen and, on seeing the terrified man, the one said to the other, " Mfowetu, isn't that the idiot who got into the car while we were pushing...?"

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    Nelson Mandela ~ who is he?

    by Jenniflower Updated Jun 28, 2007

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    Favorite thing: He was born in the Transkei on 18 July, 1918. His first name, 'Rolihlahla' is interpreted as 'troublemaker'.

    The Nelson was added later, by a primary school teacher of his... Mandela's boyhood was peaceful until the death of his father landed him in the care of a powerful relative.

    He became involved in student protests against white colonial rule at the institution at Fort Hare, and this set him out on the long walk toward personal and national liberation.

    Having run away from his guardian to avoid an arranged marriage, he joined a law firm in Johannesburg as an apprentice.

    Years of daily exposure to the inhumanities of apartheid, where being black reduced one to the status of a 'non-person', a 'nothing' in some people's eyes, kindled in him a kind of absurd and willful courage to change the world...

    And he did :) He is a much loved and revered person in South Africa, and the world. His is a hand of friendship and love, healing and productivity.

    This painting hangs on the wall in his old home in Soweto.

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    Redevelopment

    by Jenniflower Updated Jun 28, 2007

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    Favorite thing: There has been much redevelopment in Soweto.

    There are still squatter homes, which are basically corrugated tin dwellings. No windows. Roofs have heavy rocks to keep it on when the wind blows.

    There is electricity and fresh water now available to the community. Long overdue but there now thankfully.

    There is still much to do, millions of people needing aid takes a while, but I think the government has, since 1994, made huge strides in helping the people’s lifestyles here.

    There are also very nice looking homes in Soweto. You get the poorest of the poor living here, as well as some very wealthy people in other areas within Soweto.

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    Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and Nkosi*

    by Jenniflower Updated Jun 28, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: My mum had a nursery school for over 20 years. It started out of her double garage and ended up being a 75 child/15 staff school with a large school building on the property.

    We had kids from all backgrounds and walks of life and were one of the first multi-racial schools in the area. The beauty of this was that, unlike what some people thought at the time (early 1980s), colour was never an issue, and the school flourished, as did the kids.

    This leads me to a sad story.

    It is about a little boy called Nkosi*. He was at mum's nursery school.

    He got very ill when he was 3 years old, and went to Baragwanath Hospital (now called Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital). We went to visit him and bring him some toys and love.

    The ward was clean but scant. Nurses friendly, but few and far between.

    We spent some precious time with him (he had a tumour), promising to visit him again the following weekend. He was smiling broadly at us, even amidst his pain.

    We never got to make that second visit, and my eyes well up with tears thinking about that time now. He was such a precious little boy, the apple of his mum's eye. And then he was gone.

    The hospital had done all they could do, but it was too late. We did a collection for the childrens ward after that, having seen how few toys and equipment they had. Loads of love but stretched means.

    They do wonderful work here, with a seemingly un-ending and non-winning task. There is so much help needed. It is one of the, if not the biggest and busiest hospital in the southern hemisphere, with some fine surgeons.

    This hospital was actually built for British troops, back in May 1942. It is a very large hospital, with nearly 3,000 beds, over 400 buildings, covering a total area of 173 acres.

    *Nkosi is not his real name.

    This photo is my little reminder of him :)

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    Youth Day ~ 16 June

    by Jenniflower Updated Jun 28, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    �� Sam Mzima

    Favorite thing: On this date, in 1976, Soweto students protested against the official introduction of studying Afrikaans as a set curriculum subject.

    They would have no choice whether to study it or not...

    This language was seen as the language of the apartheid era as the leaders at the time were Afrikaans, and so there was a very anti-Afrikaans feeling within the black community.

    To have to suddenly HAVE to learn this at school was outrageous to them and so they protested. Theirs was a battle against the authorities and lives were lost.

    Hence the remembrance of these brave students.

    This photo is the well-known photo of Hector Pietersen and his sister Antoinette, Hector being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo. He was killed in this protest :(

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    Bishop Tutu Buthelezi

    by Jenniflower Updated Jun 22, 2007

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    Wax Model at Madame Tussauds

    Favorite thing: Since 1994 South Africa has gone through a tremendous reconciliation process with the official end of apartheid.

    Tutu Buthelezi, a Bishop from Cape Town has been instrumental in bringing about reconciliation by forming a Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

    This committee was set up as a specific place where people who had done criminal things for political reasons could come and air their hearts, tell what they had done, and ask for forgiveness.

    This may sound inconceivable to many - but it worked!!!!

    Thousands of people came asking for forgiveness from the families of their victims, many a tear was shed, but everyone concerned found a relative peace within.

    A sense of closure.

    Many of the people hurt during the apartheid era were in Soweto, so this truth and reconciliation process had significant meaning within this community.

    This is yet another reason why I am so proud to be South African. VIVA!!!!! :)


    ~ Reconciliation ~

    'For true reconciliation is a deeply
    personal matter. It can happen
    only between persons who assert
    their own personhood and who
    acknowledge and respect that of
    others.'

    - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

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    Tours?

    by Jenniflower Updated Jun 21, 2007

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    Favorite thing: I would personally never do an actual tour here (would rather be with a local friend), but they are popular and if you don’t know a local to show you around, I would recommend it.

    They take you to local sparzas (informal shops), and shebeens (bars), restaurants and some sights.

    The sights are commercialised and a ‘Soweto experience’ will not be totally accurate with all the comforts that come with a tour, but it’ll probably be the closest you will get to experiencing something of this fascinating place.

    The tours also bring much needed revenue to the area.

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    My visits here

    by Jenniflower Updated Jun 21, 2007

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    Favorite thing: I came here a few times a child, on a church visit, plus on school outings.

    As a white girl, growing up in the suburbs, I had no knowledge of what went on in Soweto whilst growing up.

    The Nursery School staff that came into work from Soweto everyday (some staff stayed on the property), didnt say much about what went on, only that they needed their passes with them at all times.

    I didn't, as a young girl, understand the implications of all this...

    The government kept things quiet, and, as they had control over the media at the time, nothing was broadcast.

    I first visited Soweto when I went with my family to a church meeting. We knew the pastor and he had specially invited us to a service.

    We stood in the front of the church and sang a song… the only white people out of hundreds of people.

    I didn’t feel at all scared or nervous, the love and acceptance I felt from the people in Soweto was immense. They are a community in the true sense of the word.

    There are also a lot of people doing a lot of good who are trying to make better lives for themselves and others in Soweto.

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  • Vibey on weekends

    by cybernation Written Feb 25, 2003
    Nelson Mandela's house

    Favorite thing: Hector Peterson Memorial Site where the famous 1976 photogragh of a young boy being carried away dead which has been seen all accross the world ,
    Regina Mundi Church where the students uprising started in 1976,
    The house where Nelson Mandela used to live during his early days in Soweto.

    Fondest memory: The people are always eager to share thier struggle with visitors.

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  • Vibey on weekends

    by cybernation Written Feb 25, 2003

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Orlando West (Mandela's former house)

    Favorite thing: Hector Peterson Memorial Site where the famous 1976 photogragh of a young boy being carried away dead which has been seen all accross the world ,
    Regina Mundi Church where the students uprising started in 1976,
    The house where Nelson Mandela used to live during his early days in Soweto.

    Fondest memory: The people are always eager to share thier struggle with visitors.

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    • Adventure Travel

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