"Soweto and Lesedi"
Soweto stands for South West Township of Johannesburg. It is basically the ghetto where all the black people were pushed years ago. It is sad to see some of the living conditions of the people here - tin homes placed right next to each other and outhouses….. Soweto has the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize Winners lived – Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived on the same block! That is amazing. What those two men did for the black people of South Africa, and black people all over, is truly magnificent.
We toured a museum that housed the story of the civil rights fight in 1976. It reminded me a lot of the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis with tremendous black and white pictures that tell dynamic stories of the struggles of the black people. The most telling picture was of Hector Pieterson, a 13 year old boy who was shot dead, being carried by another boy with Hector’s sister running by his side. You could see the anguish on their faces as Hector laid limp in the boy’s arms as blood was running out of his mouth. Hector symbolized the fight of the young children against white supremacy. The march by the young students was started because they were being forced to learn Afrikaans, a new language that was developed by the Europeans that moved into South Africa. Since SA had many different Europeans living there they developed this new language called Afrikaans and they wanted to force the black people to learn it and utilize it. This is when the young people decided to organize a demonstration and march. It was meant to be peaceful. You can see pictures of the march with kids smiling and laughing. When the young people approached the area where the police were located the police started throwing rocks and ended up opening fire on the youths. That is when Hector was shot and killed. Powerful stuff, just like in Memphis.
After the museum we had a terrific lunch with a lot of laughs. The food has been terrific here and the service pleasant. Since everyone speaks English it is easy to communicate with the waiters and waitresses.
We took and hour bus ride to some beautiful hills that reminded me of Colorado. This is where the Lesedi Village is located. We got to see the history of several different tribes and their villages. We saw their huts and dress, their weapons, the way they prepared food and many of their traditions, including how they danced. Our players and my family got on the dance floor and danced, too. I owe my son $20 because I had to bride him to get out there. One of the main lessons our team picked up from Lesedi was the man with the most cattle had the most wives!!! Cattle represented wealth and that attracted the women!
We then enjoyed a traditional meal including crocodile and ostrich! I passed on the croc and ate some ostrich!
I am back at the hotel and getting ready for another action packed day tomorrow. We head out for a Safari in the morning then we practice in the late afternoon. Plus, tomorrow is Kelly's birthday.