The Soul of Township Tours in South Africa

The Tales of South African Townships

Township in South Africa reflects the celebration of joy in human rights, freedom, justice and reconciliation. From the experience of shebeens to visits with sangomas.

A township visit is an emotional and unique sensory experience that is abuzz with the vivid social culture. Each township tells a story of its own about how it was established, the struggle through the years of apartheid and the current age it has evolved into.

South African townships have an irresistible soul and vibe that will welcome you and give you the experience of a lifetime!

Alex  –  “Township of Rhythm”

Alexandra Township -Gauteng

Alexandra is affectionately known as ‘Alex’, it is  Gauteng’s oldest township. Initially, it was established as a residential area. This was in 1905 by a white farmer. He aimed for a white suburb and named it after his wife. In 1912 it was transformed into a native township. Black people were allowed land ownership.

In 1913 the land act dissolved land ownership rights by blacks. Alexandra continues in migration as it was close in proximity to the employment opportunities in Johannesburg.

‘Alex’ has an interesting and turbulent and past, a fascinating present, and a very promising future.  It also has it’s own community radio and TV station.

Alex is the hub of culture, root culture is rhythm and vibe.  Alex has been home to luminaries like Hugh Masekela, a renowned jazz maestro as well as Nelson Mandela.

Popular culture like theaters in the townships was a dynamic force which gave life and hopes to the people, it’s a dynamic force that gave hope.

A township tour will give assess to the best shebeens in where you can quench your thirst on the tradition umqombothi, an African beer that is home-brewed, and taste amazing local delicacies.

You can also stock up on arts and crafts from street vendors, curios and explore the world colorful traditional medicine world.

The outdoor markets, the St Hulbert Catholic church, Mandela Yard Precinct and traditional healers create a fascinating new and old blend making Alex a fascinating township tour.

A Visit to  the iconic township of Soweto

Soweto is the fifth most popular destination for overseas visitors to the Gauteng province. It’s ‘Jozi’s’ tourism drawcard.  And one of the biggest attractions is the Mandela Museum, in Vilakazi Street.  The former four-roomed home of Nelson and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is a deeply moving experience, that reminds us of our past, and gives us hope for the future.

The Hector Pieterson Memorial is three blocks from where 13-year-old Hector was shot and died on 16 June 1976, the day when students in Soweto marched against the repressive imposition of  the Afrikaans language in schools

Soweto tours start with,  Hector Pieterson Museum and the Regina Mundi church.No trip to Soweto in Johannesburg is complete without a visit to Regina Mundi, the largest Catholic Church in the most popular Soweto.

It’s been a spiritual haven for thousands of Sowetans, it has also played a pivotal role in the township’s history of resistance against apartheid.

The Ubuntu Kraal is a collection of straw-roofed rondavels that form a homestead, popular as a wedding and conference venue.

Many will also be interested in the Soweto  Festival. The Soweto Festival is held annually

Soweto Festival

The venue is the magnificent Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, the site of the signing of the historic Freedom Charter by anti-apartheid organizations in 1955.

This is the ideal place for the people of Soweto to congregate over Heritage weekend as the Square is a national monument.

The Soweto Festival centers around an exhibition and day-long entertainment events.

 The  capturing visit to Katlehong

Katlehong

The Katlehong township area smoldered with political tension in the early 1990s and the name was associated with violent protests and a low-level civil war amongst factions.

This, however, is a thing of the past and in some way seems to make the Art Centre even more of an achievement for being there. Some of the most exquisite examples of ethnic artwork are housed here and the center seems to have been as influenced by the emotional turmoil of the township as its inhabitants once were.

 

Welcome to motherland Africa! Welcome to South Africa!

 

 

 

Celebrating Africa Day – May 25

Today is May 25th. Diarise this day. It is a special day. It is 'Africa day'.  On this day the motherland Africa reclaims its dignity, peace, and justice on the continent.

This special day is celebrated all over the continent and acknowledges the progress that Africa has made while it reflects on the common challenges faced all over Africa in the global environment.

Celebrations by Africans all over the world, it a calling that Africa will rise again!

The Origins of Africa Day

The history of ‘Africa day’ can be traced back to the April 15th in 1958. The first Congress on African soil took place in  Accra, Ghana. Convened by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the prime minister of Ghana, it comprised of leaders from Egypt, EthiopiaLiberia, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia and the Cameroon.

There was an initiation to create 'Africa freedom day' or 'Africa liberation day' It finally became 'Africa Day'. Africans celebrate 'Africa Day' to commemorate African liberation and unity.

The conference was aimed at showcasing Africa liberation movements and progress.  It was about symbolizing determination of Africa to break free from foreign exploitation and domination. It was a platform to reject colonialism. It sowed the seeds of what was to become the  Organization of African Unity.

In 1961 on the 9th of December 1961, Tanganyika gained independence and became known as Tanzania. Julius Nyerere was an influential force behind the Organization of African Unity (OAU) currently branded as the African Union.

Between 1958 and 1963 seventeen African countries gained independence from colonizers. The time arrived, a calling to celebrate liberation.

On the 25th of May in 1963 by thirty-two free nations joined in unison and launched the OAU.This was led by  Julius Nyerere from Tanzania, Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana, Sékou Touré from Guinea and Kenneth Kaunda from Zambia. Since then 21 more countries joined in. South Africa the final, after the demise of the apartheid regime.

The original mission of the OAU was about freedom for Africa.  Most of Africa was still under colonial rule in the 1960’s. The mission was to defend sovereignty, restore dignity and human rights of the people in Africa. Since then Africa Day is celebrated annually on May 25th.

In our modern age, Africa day is a national holiday is some countries. Diaspora communities gather in ceremonies exchanging cultural attire and exchanging traditional recipes from their motherland Africa

Over half a century has passed since then, themes  and colonialism that was the common enemy at that time had eventually withered away,

In current times the community of Africa states commemorates Africa day highlight theme seems for nation building the nation.This year it is the all about the development of youth in Africa.

We need to always reflect on the roots behind this special day. What does it mean to us in present times? Unity is one honorable goal. We need to remove barriers between the nations.

Africa day is about harmony and peace. It is worth celebrating. It is an achievement that African the African Union was formed. It is an achievement that Africa countries can unite peacefully.

In the beginning, Africa day was about finding for independence.  We are fighting for development in current days.

  • The  African Union is about the promotion of democracy in all countries on the continent of Africa.
  • It is about the promotion human rights.
  • It is about sustaining economies in Africa by preventing conflict and the promotion of common markets.

We need to celebrate our motherland, our Africa!

Welcome to Zanzibar- Our Spice Island

Welcome to Zanzibar


Known to insiders, as Unguja, Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands, located in the Indian Ocean. It is located in the Indian Ocean with beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs.
Sixty miles in length and about twenty miles wide, it occupies an area, that is six hundred and fifty square miles.

 

Pemba is Zanzibar’s sister island. It had many years of isolation from the outside world.

Although Pemba has fewer tourists, there are beautiful beaches, natural forests and Misali Island, off Pemba’s east coast, is best for diving.

The only functioning ancient town in East Africa – the magical Stone Town. Stone Town has been designated one of the world’s few heritage sites by the United Nations.
Stone town is Mji Mkongwe in Swahili.The town was the centre of trade on the East African coast between Asia and Africa before the colonisation.
The main export was spices and particularly cloves. For many years, Stone Town was the central base for slave trade; many were hauled from the mainland and rest of Africa and subsequently traded with the Middle East.
The Anglican Cathedral is built on a former slave market. Some of the holding cells still exist at the site.
Zanzibar has great symbolic importance in the suppressing slavery since it was one of the main slave-trading ports in East Africa and the main base where opponents like David Livingstone operated their campaigns.
It was here that the Shortest War in History was fought in 1896.

Zanzibar’s paradise beaches are filled with coconut palms. Coconut palms are resources that no part is wasted. There is a wide variety of products, materials for creative weavings, building, drinking, and eating. Many homes in Zanzibar use thatch roofs created from palm leaves. The coconut palm is one of the most versatile plants

 

Zanzibar produces the largest quantity of cloves in the world, and its history was heavily influenced by this activity. During the Han Dynasty, the Chinese would chew Cloves to freshen their breath before speaking to the Emperor.Therefore, it became a tradition in Zanzibar during meals
Zanzibar’s most famous event is the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries. This event, held annually in July, displays the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar’s favourite music, Taarab
This event, held annually in July, displays the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar’s favourite music, Taarab

 

 

The Spice Island of Zanzibar is famous for beaches as well as luxury resorts.It is a place carved in nostalgic essence filled with overwhelming hospitality, captivating your soul as it takes you way back into time.

 

The Story Of Bagamoyo

Boats, Dowe, Shore, Beach, Ocean, Water
The winding road lined with palm trees in lush green pathways open up into the oldest town in Tanzania,"Bagamoyo", A UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, the rich cultural heritage of Bagamoyo is an unforgettable exploration discovery in Tanzania.
Strolling down the unpaved and narrow street of Bagamoyo takes you back into time. Way back into time.

In the 19th century, this was an important settlement on the coast of East Africa. It was a route that linked Lake Tanganyika to the sea. Ivory, copra, salt and slaves were offloaded here before being shipped to Zanzibar and everywhere else.
The history of Bagamoyo and the unhurried pace makes it an amazing excursion when in Tanzania.
 Bagamoyo dates back to 600-800BC, Bantu-speaking tribes, Kwere, Doe and Zigua lived here originating from the interior Azania. Hunting, fishing, and subsistence farming were the order of the day until family clusters from Persia disrupted in 1250 when they were attracted by fertile land and the multitude of fishing.
Bagamoyo – the Swahili rooted name Bwaga ambiguously meant to lay down. Moyo means ‘heart’ Bagamoyo was unburdening for traders and porters after lengthy journeys and a 'lay down' of hearts for those captured into a destination of heartbreaking slavery. The ambiguity of the name Bagamoyo allows both meanings.

 
The birthplace of Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete who served as president of the Democratic Republic of Tanzania, Bagamoyo lies about 70km from the capital of Dares-Salaam Little shops and art galleries line up the roadside. The tides slip in the coastal white sands.

 
 The oldest mosque, the ruined Kaole lies to the south-east of the town. A well-worn, old city with a population estimated at 30000, it is lined with historical architecture inspires by various designs.
On the Swahili coast that was once integral for a commercial network between Somalia and Southern Tanzania, it was the link between the interior of Africa and the world via the island of Zanzibar.

 


 

The once slave market has become the Bagamoyo Art market and is supports by the artist community in the town. Sun-kissed, dusty roads lead to a gallery where local artists who have transformed a wooden pavilion, a slave market of the past into an outdoor gallery featuring sculpture paintings and woodcarving. The gallery expresses a collective artist desire to link to a world economy, in the echoes of historic voices on every road corner.

 

Welcome to Bagamoyo! #ExploremotherlandAfrica