Feeling at home in Johannesburg
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Let me tell you, Johannesburg was EVERYTHING!
I would encourage any able bodied person to visit any part of Africa. It's crazy we're conditioned to view Africa as this less than place that it's not. I've never felt so safe and welcomed by a people.
Lets get into it!
Day 1: EXPLORE
And we Explored. We head to Rosebank Mall to find food and shoes. RocaMamas has the cutest outdoor patio area where we eat for lunch. Shelflife is this cool shoe store for exclusive sneakers. Mirror Pic? Well of course, I think I was over here doing boomerangs longer than I looked at the sneakers.
We had to find the night life and the recommendation was Taboo Nightclub. Now, Johannesburg knows how to have a good ass time. My yawn meter usually starts at about 9:30 PM under normal circumstances but this city has me up until 6:00 AM. What were we thinking? Stop passing the shots, stop making me have fun.
Day 2: Together Soweto
Our amazing tour guide and driver, Tsholo takes us around this township. This day was extremely emotional and informative. We get to see the day to day of each class of people in this 3 million populated area. The majority of people in Soweto are considered middle class, own and live in a house. This area is also home to the biggest hospital in the western hemisphere. Ok Joburg!!
We take on Kliptown which is a lower class area. These people work together, share plumbing, electricity, and resources. Though I felt like an invader they happily welcomed us into their space. I took plenty of pictures but didn't feel the need to share because it plays into the false narrative of what Africa looks like. Imagine the photos you've already seen, that's Kliptown. What I will say is that despite their circumstances these people seemed happy, helpful, intelligent, innovative, and kind.
This is a singing group from Kliptown called Together Soweto, check them out on youtube.
Ok now we get into some heavy stuff.
We head to the Hector Pieterson museum where we learn of the killings of hundreds of children after the Soweto Uprising. All these young people wanted, was equality. I think what stuck out the most during this portion of the tour was, this all began due to the colonization of Africa by white people. The Dutch found the amazing beauty of the cape of Africa and decided to stay. The problem came, when they forced their languages and beliefs on an established community. Like excuse you!! This trickles down to the issues affecting the youth, corrupt education. They decided to protest, which was termed the Soweto Uprising. Their beef was during the Apartheid, those in power didn't want black or colored children (mixed race) to learn certain subjects like Math, Science, and Biology. They attempted to make it more difficult by teaching those subjects in Afrikaans to prevent them from learning adequately. Afrikans (what Dutch people called themselves after colonizing Africa) Afrikaans (essentially a derivative language of Dutch). The black people who were already in Africa needless to say struggled adopting this made up ass language. *side eye* The people in power literally killed 176 kids during this protest in 1976 because they wanted equal education. I think you can understand my emotion.
After the deep experiences of the beginning of our tour and my attitude brought on by hunger, Tsholo takes us to Soweto towers. After our lunch I of course decide to do a little thrill seeking. I bungee jumped 328 ft. The whole way up I thought about how I probably shouldn't have eaten so much fufu. It was crazy SCAREMAZING!!!
Day 3: What!!?? We're going on a Safari!!?
We meet another amazing tour guide, Joseph. He takes us on our next adventure to Pilanesburg.
Before we make it there he stops us by, Hartbeespoortdam which is breathtaking. This wasn't even included on our tour he just thought we needed to see it. You see what I mean?They like us, they really like us!
We make it the Safari which was extremely cool. We get to see most of the "big 5" and "ugly 5" animals. We also hit Zebra Crossing for food.
I try a traditional South African dish the "Boerewors Roll" We need Boerewors here.
This is Floppy! He gave us quite the show!
I believe these first few days were all about experiencing the culture. I appreciated every single second.
-Tasha's Taste of Travel