We had been advised to go on a tour of the city and Soweto so we did that the next day.
We saw Nelson Mandela's house, the contrast between rich and poor, views of the city , the trees of which are all planted not naturally occurring.
On a tour of the city we went to a Muti shop (traditional African medicine, looking a it like a Chinese medicine practice but more exciting!)
|First thing we saw was the sign from Apartheid era.|
|Bones and Skin|
|Ground, who knows what?|
|Herbs and grasses. The shop smelt really good|
We then went on to Soweto, whose origins go back to 1903, when Kliptown was established after authorities cleared an inner city slum on the pretext of trying to eradicate an outbreak of bubonic plague.It is the most populous black urban residential area in the country, with a population of around a million.
|We visited this house, home top six people,who had come from Northern Cape|
There are also many house now being built by the government, and house people can buy (called appropriately Bank Houses!!) and many accommodation houses, bit like hostels, but it will take a while to re house everyone.
Soweto exploded in violent riots on June 16, 1976, when schoolchildren took the struggle against apartheid into their own hands based on their refusal to have to learn at school in Afrikaans (many had not had this in primary school so then struggled with classes in a 'foreign' language). Hundreds of children around the country died on this day, but South Africa was never to be the same again – the slow road to democracy had begun, culminating in the elections of 1994 and the established of democracy in the country.
We visited The Hector Pieterson Museum that recognises the young 12-year-old's sacrifice (first child that was shot in the 'peace march') and hundreds of other children who gave their lives for freedom.
A chilling reminder of how privileged we are to be born in our country.