Soweto Neighbourhood tour
Hey, welcome back – hopefully you read my last post so this next one makes sense, and if not just take a read later on. So, next stop on our Tuk Tuk tour was to try out a staple Winter street food – Fat Cake - It’s a ball of dough; it’s fried; it’s tasty, it’s cheap to produce and it’s popular here on the streets of Soweto. ‘Vetkoek’ really lives up to its name as we sat and munched down on it after it had cooled. Couldn’t eat too many (that is clearly a lie) but loved it and would try again for sure!
We then made out way to a smaller village in Kliptown, which was quite honestly eye opening and saddening to see how the poverty is so abundant here. No running water, shared cubicle bathrooms for hundreds to share, no sanitation whatsoever – it was truly heart-breaking.
However, the people are beautiful, inside and out! Friendly, big smiles and none the wiser about their quality of life, oh, and the kids!! These kids love approaching foreigners! I am as white as they come and the most surprising thing to me was that they didn't approach nervously in the slightest, instead they simply just wanted to play with us, hold our hands, walk with us, smile and give us cuddles. It was a truly lovely experience both educational and humbling.
Next on the list was Nelson Mandela’s house. Nelson Mandela lived in Soweto for many years before his 27-year imprisonment on Robben Island, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu also lived in the neighborhood just down the street. That’s two Nobel Prize laureates who called this area home! The street itself is very touristic and filled with beautiful artwork and as much as we didn’t pay the entry fee to get into his house, we enjoyed the experience of being there in the neighborhood where this incredible man once lived.
A couple of his incredible quotes of Nelson Mandela can be found below:
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
― Nelson Mandela
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
After this, we stopped for coffee and photos with the artwork and I can tell you now, South Africa knows its coffee (and food for that) but the coffee was a sheer 10/10 and not overly expensive, about $1.50NZD per cup.
We then made our way to the last stop of the day – the Soweto towers. Orlando Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station commissioned at the end of the Second World War and served Johannesburg for over 50 years. Now, however they stand central and proud bang in the heart of the city and are used for extreme sports including bungee jumping, abseiling, zip-lining, free falling and paintball. We didn’t do any, but we made our way around checking these incredible towers out before heading home.
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Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!