Saturday, January 24, 2015

from sandton to soweto

one of the most interesting things about
johannesburg has been learning about the
history -- good and bad. it is an amazing city
with so much beauty, but it has a tough past.

i love that although things are better now, the
city embraces both past and present and it feels
positive. there is still a stark contrast in joburg, &
one of our days here was perfect evidence of this.
we went from sandton: the new, modern, very 
high-end part of the city -- to soweto... the most
famous township filled with history from the fight
against apartheid {including sights like mandela's home.}
sandton is an area of high-rise, modern buildings
with a huge mall and amazing restaurants. it has
this great statue of mandela in the square, but it's
a very different feel from where mandela came from.
driving into sandton feels like a night & day difference-- so
full of culture and history, and you can sense the community.
it was pretty incredible to be in the home of nelson mandela
in soweto. it's so interesting that although this was his home, 
he spent much of his life in prison -- so this has become more
 of a symbol. they have done a great job preserving the home
 and collecting memorabilia from all over the world.
our friend sid showed us around and gave us so much 
information about the culture & history of soweto. ^^
^^ sid also brought this book of his grandmother's which
shows a harsh reality of apartheid. in those days, people
were constrained to their districts and neighborhoods.
they had to carry these resident booklets around in case
they were checked by the police and found in the wrong area.
the hector pieterson museum is so well done and it
tells a lot about the real issues during apartheid, 
focusing on june 16th, 1976 when the gradual demise 
of the apartheid government began through a student uprising against the afrikaans language. it's so well done.
we had to try one of the famous kota sandwiches! ^^

the iconic soweto towers in the background ^^
this day gave me such a better understanding and 
appreciation for the progress this country has made, 
and the true realities of the past. from sandton to
soweto, johannesburg paints a picture of the 
diversity and the contradictions of different areas.

i was so glad to learn more and this day
 made me appreciate this amazing city even more.


1 comment:

  1. You explained so well the history of these two parts of the city. I loved having my first real Kota with you and Sid in Soweto.


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