If anyone is curious about a quick and dirty summary of Cape Town, Lydia Polgreen’s article last month is a must read. References to the “Twitter battle” is definitely a sign of the times (no pun intended).
Anonymous asked: Thank you for this informative entry about Johannesburg. One of my dearest friends was born there. I met her in my late teens. I knew that she was from SA, but I never inquired about where, or how she ended up in Maine. When we traveled to Cape Town two years ago, I finally got it. Began to understand the history, the long, slow climb out of unthinkable racism. So you are not alone in beginning to realize what our fellow humans have endured. What were your feelings as you got to know the Mamas?
Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delayed response! The Mamas were the highlight of my time in South Africa. Over and over again, I was struck by their incredibly agency and independence in a society that, for the majority of their lives, offered no opportunity for their race or gender. For example, the two Mamas that started the garden, Philipina and Nancy, noticed that the plot of land was going unused, and went to the city to ask for a land grant. They just went and asked for 6000 square meters of land. Then, they recruited some friends to start tilling and aerating the land, but didn’t have the tools or expertise to do so. When the community of Gugulethu saw this, a tractor was donated for the time being and a group of Quakers from Nyanga came and taught them proper techniques. Only once the garden was up in running the Abalimi Bezekhaya come into the picture. So cliché to say, but I was always inspired when I was around the Mamas.
Cosatu Western Cape general secretary Tony Ehrenreich told reporters on Sunday afternoon that a planned march on Parliament across the Cape Town city centre would likely attract 30 000 people on the day.
“It will be one of the biggest strikes that has happened in the Western Cape for a long, long time,” he said during a media briefing at his organisation’s Salt River headquarters.
Sapa, “Costau plans 32 marches across SA”, Pretoria News
More information on the strikes and protests that will be occurring over the next week.
Word: toi toi
Meaning: South African dance originally from Zimbabwe that has long been used in political demonstrations
Used in a sentence: “I’m expecting to see a toi toi tomorrow during the protest march to parliament.”
Almost a quarter gone and I have not given any information on the political situation South Africa faces. See the article above to learn more about the strikes and protests scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday the 7th. In Cape Town, an expected 30,000 Costau union members will be marching on parliament. After service, I am going downtown to take photos and experience it first hand.
I’ve found that our quarter here in Cape Town has been so accelerated that we have not gotten a chance to really engage in the tense political situation here. For example, Julius Melema, the former head of the ANC Youth League, was recently expelled from the party because of the controversial remarks he made about white leadership and total black authority. That has massive implications, shaking the foundations of the Youth League. I don’t think I’m fully aware of how tense the political situation actually is.
Blog post to come if I am able to catch any of the march.
Photo of Hector Pieterson I alluded to in the Johannesburg post.
Used in a sentence: “I’ll be by after the braai just now with the bakkie to pick up the grill.”
best way to describe the Voortrekker Monument
Art Decco is the architecture of apartheid