#CreatepreneurAfrica- Riaan Hendricks, prolific South African filmmaker on the “Ramothopo the Centenarian” journey

A multi-award winning, Cape Town's prolific film director, Riaan Hendricks weaves into a rich tapestry of storytelling moments engrossed in the delicate elements of his creations. He wavers on motions of a constant struggle to engage audiences with emotional landscapes of life characters and stories into the beyond of everyday lives. His latest film follows the 110-year old Ramothopo and his 99-year-old wife, Anna.

Ramothopo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He initiated his ‘sterling directorial debut’  into the world of documentary with ‘A Fisherman’s tale in 2004.

His celebrated work constantly pushes the boundaries laid out in the documentary genre. Riaan is currently completing his Masters in Film at the Universtiy of Cape Town( UCT).

Skype: riaanhendricks | Twitter: @filmseason
Vimeo: riaanhendricksfilm | Facebook: riaanhendricks

A Fisherman’s Tale (2004) “…reminds me of the art of Picasso and Diego Riviera, who had used their art to animate the condition of the working people and their dignity”
– Professor Ben Turok, 
Independent Newspapers.

His film “The Devils Lair (2013) was received critical acclaim and was played on almost all the continents receiving multiple film awards.

 

  • Best Documentary World Cinema Award at the New Zealand International
  • Documentary Edge Festival 2014
  • Best Documentary Feature Award SAFTA’s 2014
  • Best Documentary Feature Editor Award SAFTA’s 2014
  • Jury Special Mention Documentary, Luxor Film Festival, 2014
  • Best South African Documentary Feature, JOZI FILM FEST 2014
  • Best South African Feature Documentary, Screen Excellence Award, 2013
  • Jury Special Mention at the 24th Festival Cinema Africano Asia Latin Americana, 2014

Meet CreatepreneurAfrica’s  profound South African filmmaker, Riaan Hendriks

Riaan Hendricks is a filmmaker. A beekeeper. Publisher of Docstreet Radio (www.soundcloud.com/docstreet).
What is your latest film all about?

My latest film is titled “Ramothopo the Centenarian”. It’s story of what it takes to return the love and care to 110-year old Ramothopo old and Anna his 99-year-old wife – who for generations played a vital role in their family and community.

In her younger years, Anna spent her younger life as a prophetess and healer. Leprosy was amongst many of the sicknesses she knew how to cure. She assisted many barren women to have children.

Even the mentally ill were lined up at her door for help. It’s not easy to judge her age from gauging her intelligent conversations. This woman she is strong – and surpassing 100 is nothing new in their family.

Their home was always a refuge to those in need of help.

Ramothopo was a preacher over hundreds of people. It’s his feeble state that compelled his granddaughter to spend more time with him in what seems to be the last years of his life. She’d leave her Cape Town family behind and journey the 1800km trip with 2 year old Anushka to attend to Ramothopo – whom she calls her dad. Her own dad passed away when she was still very young.

The film itself is a heart-warming experience. We all have a Ramothopo and an Anna in our lives. And if time permits – we too will find ourselves where they are. After watching the film – you’ll never look at life quite the same again.

How did you finance the film?

This is one of the most expensive films i’ve made in recent years. It’s also my longest. The cost cannot be translated into cash value – since it’s entirely funded with passion, handwork, and perhaps diligence. Usually, you’d go out and look for money before you film – or when you are in the edit. This film, however – was never meant to be a film. Initially, I was merely taken by the contrast between my two-year-old daughter and her interaction with her great-grandparents. I chose to film it for memories keep shake.

However – the more I filmed, the harder it became to confront the themes as it manifested itself.

I’m of sound mind and healthy body. To confront the realities of feebleness, old age and the dependence on love and care is the hardest I’ve ever filmed. Yet it’s in the very struggle of processing the themes and translating it into meaning that a film gets born. From experience, I know that is how all my films are done. It’s in your heart where the film gets born.

Thus every time we went to Botlokwa, i’d film. And the more I filmed – the more the humanness of feebleness, madness, and love emerged.

A life experience that changes you often makes a good film. This film changed me. I could not walk away from it without translating it into cinema and be titling it “Ramothopo the Centenarian”.

Where to from here?

Well, the film was finished a few days before the Encounters International Documentary Film Festival. The festival itself has always been the home ground of South African documentary cinema. So I’m thankful for their continued support of my work over the years. But with the Ramothopo, I truly thought that this time around they will be rejecting my work!

The film has possibly the longest documentary film shot that I know of. It’s a black and white film. It’s about old age. Yet, the maturity of their film selection and their ability to appreciate documentary cinema implies that South African documentary has a great future under their curatorship. So long live Encounters!

Obviously, we’d like to have the film broadcast. It is the centenary year of Nelson Mandela. If ever a film reflects the lives of our ordinary aged and feeble – this is the one.

I’m hoping a broadcaster will pick it up – so that we can translate some of the sweat, blood, and tears into bread, butter and attend to some requests their granddaughter has for her grandparents.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

It’s in the heart. That’s’ where it starts. Follow your instinct – even if it makes little sense. It’s not supposed to make sense – you are a filmmaker, not an actuary. If the final product has no resonance with your audience – move over to the next film. It’s a combination of your external physical craft and your internal filmmaker’s voice being honed. If the festival or funder rejects your work. Cry loud. Wipe your tears soldier. Eventually – it will all come together. You have to explore and discover through your cinematic choices who you really are.

And you have to push it. When you are young – it’s easy to close doors with your restless passion and vocal conflicting ideas. It’s fine. Let them close the doors. If you are able to stand up for what you believe and go hungry for it. Do it. It will only shape your character resulting in better work down the line.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

My first real paid job was when the National Film and Video Foundation funded my 26-minute documentary “A Fisherman’s Tale (2003).” When you consider how these guys are developing our industry, making huge financial investments in our development as film-makers – often granting us the license to explore our medium: regardless of its commercial value. We should applaud them for it.

Storytelling is an act of culture – their commitment ensured great vibrancy thereof. Furthermore, they managed to create a conducive environment to grow our talent and industry. If only our public broadcaster could come to the table in the same way. Could you imagine what positive impact that would have on the emergence of South African cinema?

 

 

 

CreatepreneurAfrica – Cape Town filmmaker Kurt Orderson conquers the world with ‘Azania Rizing’

Cape town filmmaker, Kurt Orderson explored artistic expression in his early lifetime beginnings. After mastering crafts of his creations from his backyard in the Cape 'ghettos'(beyond Table Mountain),he ventured out into the world, rising up to becoming one of Africa's leading filmmakers.

Kurt initiated his career during his studies as a trainee at the SABC, ( South African Broadcasting Corporation), earning mere stipends for daily living expenses.

He defined his unique aesthetic voice and was soon acknowledged as a director and cinematographer on several key productions.

He founded his independent production company, “Azania Rizing”.

“Azania Rizing” is a tool for the African diaspora to rise up and map African legacies around the world on a global storytelling platform.

His major works include:

  •  Definition of Freedom, examining the role of  Hip Hop in South Africa. It was screened at the Toronto and Vancouver  hip-hop festival  winning the best documentary award at the Atlanta Hip hop film festival
  •  Tribute to Lucky Dube, the tribute to legendary reggae artist Lucky Dube was filmed in South Africa, London, and Jamaica. It was awarded the Best Documentary  Award at the  Silicon Valley African Film Festival in  2013.
  • The Pan-African Express, a journey of six young men, students from Atlanta who travel to  South Africa and trying to understand people living with  HIV and Aids. The film was funded by The Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
  • Eldorado, a feature chronicles the journey of four friends in a Gauteng township in South Africa. It won the Special mention South Africa Feature film at the  Durban International Film Festival in 2011
  •  Breathe Again,  features Derrick Orderson, a marginalized swimmer from the  Cape Flats who rose above his livelihood in an abnormal society of inhumane prejudice. It was screened at the Encounters film festival and Durban International Film Festival and several film festivals worldwide.
  • The Prodigal Son 
  • Visibly Invisible

“The Unseen Ones”

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” Bob Marley

Current Projects

Not in My Neighborhood explores spatial violence, current gentrification and the post-apartheid era. It compares Cape Town , Johannesburg and New York uncovering the threads that exist between people that are miles apart.

 

Picture for the documentary Not in my Neighborhood. September 2016 – São Paulo – Brazil

#CreateoreneurAfrica – The Soul Journey of Kurt Orderson

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

What drives me is ultimately the great history and achievements of Africa, and I guess also within a broad order global perspective is my people that inspire me and drive me. I am from South Africa, a very specific region in South Africa, Cape Town.

More specifically I am from a township from that is part of a strip of what would be known as the “ghettos”,  the Cape Flats, there is a rich history of storytelling, a great significance of the epicenter of what the foundation of the space, basically built on the legacy of apartheid. The legacy of architectural and apartheid spatial planning ideally separated people  (which was an actual policy with the group areas act ) that had a great significance of breaking up families, literally…… families scattered.

I think what maintains a traditional oral form of storytelling, obviously remained significant, it inspired my body of work ultimately that’s my drive, Africa’s history, Africa’s achievements. One is inspired by  Africa’s legacy, the epicenter of academia and  Timbuktoo…storytelling and the arts and crafts of storytelling ultimately started there and spread across the globe.

My true passion….well I am very passionate about just listening, sitting and listening to people telling stories, whether happy or sad,  ultimately passion for me personally, is driven by a deep desire of wanting to change the landscape of..change  how people perceive each other. I think it’s those stories of those people who done it in the past and are still doing it, that’s what drives my passion. I am inspired by their passion, I think I apply it to my life.That for me is what passion is. Passion goes deeper, the engine or driving force for one to do something. I think ultimately wanting to do something is ultimately passion…the driving force…

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

How did I find my passion….well that’s an interesting question? I think for me when I finished high school, I was definitely inspired by the visual medium and visual arts. There was obviously the influence of television and Hollywood tv,  I guess, but also my parents influenced me.

My father was a screen printer, which is ultimately a visual artist, although he didn’t call himself that, based on conditioning of the system that shaped him, apartheid South Africa. The idea that you were limited to do certain things when it comes to art black folks were deprived in a large historical moment of what the status quo says what you do and what you can become. My father is a strong reference to creating images and applying it to a t-shirt, applies similarly script to screen.

I think its an interesting analogy, metaphor for making films, taking a rich traditional medium and applying it to my work. I think that is how I found my passion.

How old was I?   I think my first reference to start noticing…I don’t know if I can say noticing, more where I picked up the idea that I was passionate about the visual medium, I think I was maybe thirteen years old or fourteen…..

I was locked out of my parent’s house, of course. That time there were no cellphones. I’m from a family of a family of five kids, my parents both worked, I was locked out one day.  I went to the backyard, my father had a workshop in the back of the yard, and I found a hammer and flat nose screwdriver.

I used the hammer and flat nose to carve out my name on a piece of wood and was quite impressed by myself. Wow, no one before that necessarily initiated anything like that. I wasn’t exposed to artistic expression and multiple forms of what artists do, I carved out my name, varnished it and made it immaculate. Later on meeting people who carved for a profession, creating amazing things. I always reference my first carving, that was my flame of inspiration for being an artist, use a visual medium for storytelling.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

What about my passionate appeals to me the most… I guess the privilege to being a filmmaker, that being my passion but also to add to that, I feel very blessed to basically get paid for my passion, for my hobby… I would say …because we love film so much I  will do it for free, that’s how deep our passion for cinema lies…and getting paid to do something you love, your passion is a heavy blessing.

What appeals to me most is the idea of  shared history and shared knowledge, when someone allows you into their household to tell you their stories…. you being inspired and, relating on a level of  “oh I knew someone who had a similar idea about this or that .”

 I think that is what the driving force is …..sharing communal space, sharing narratives, sharing stories,  sharing politics, sharing knowledge….that for me a strong appeal to my passion…

What drove you to make money from your passions?

What drove me to make money out of my passion…well you know in real talk, not to romanticize the question too much. We, unfortunately, live in a very capitalist society, we inherited capitalism,, were born into a capitalistic society…..that on one level, right,, that reality of things, we need to eat right, we need to sustain ourselves… in terms of monetary exchange we apple or tomato,whatever……what well I just realised that my craft, my talent, my blessing, I can get paid for it.

For me, there was a strong driving force around craft, like crafting what is my voice, what is my aesthetic, what does Kurt bring across in a common sharing space as a filmmaker as a storyteller. It was first defining my voice, after defining that idea, that is when I felt to make money.

People  want to hire you, because they want that aesthetic that you ideally represent, that was my passion for making art and getting paid for my art, as an independent filmmaker, as an African filmmaker, things are rough out there…and we want to tell our own stories on our own terms, the system itself makes it very difficult for us to sustain ourselves. I need to work like a plumber who works with tools and I need to buy those tools. That is the reality of things

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

The first time I got paid for something… I can’t recall exactly when that was when that moment was…there was a few moment I think. I think  I worked on a television show and I was a contestant, but I also worked on a show. It was a show on SABC2, I was like 18 or 19.

We were trainees and there was a little  stipend that they paid us for traveling money or whatever. It was for generic work on set like organizing cables and assisting the floor, production. I remember very little , but that’s when I realised you can get paid for this. I was still studying at that time as well.

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

What kept me going. I have come through multiple crossroads moments asking myself is this really sustainable, what I do, filmmaking? Filmmaking is really hard, difficult, expensive artistic form to choose. A painter can get some canvas and some paints  make a  killer piece, get to an art market  for a million and boom there we go

For filmmakers, the reality of getting a camera, getting all the equipment you need, and then on top of it, getting a team to operate the tools, that’s a whole process on its own. These things are hard when you off the grid and not part of the mainstream in the system and don’t necessarily want to be part of it.

That’s a very conscious choice, you can just join tv and become a commissioning editor, produce for television and things will be different, it will be a completely different narrative, everything is there,, there is funding for you and they hire you.

Food, clothes and shelter have no politics.

Mutabaruka

As an independent filmmaker or producer, it is very difficult… I only recently mastered the art form of really raising money for my films, for many years my films were independent, self-funded at times.

Now its like I understand more about the industry, how to write the right proposals, and apply to the right people and getting the money and managing the money.

When you at the lowest moment at the crux, paying rent, paying teams, paying crews, and rejections. Rejection is a big thing for filmmakers , filmmakers are sensitive beings, we are fragile as well  in this…. broken world

These are all the challenges that come on your journey, it applies to life as well… life ain’t easy.  The world is not nice, the world is cruel, the life we find peace and sanity within ourselves, the people close to you. There are your therapists, they are your motivational speakers, they push you and say we believe in you, that’s what keeps me going.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

 

What motivates me to be successful, what motivation every day. Whats the motivation?  I think this idea that, on one level is that  African history, African stories were for the longest time ever was told through the voice of the colonizer and the aesthetic and the lens of the colonizer…..

These were told in a biased fashion…for me now, as a fellow African filmmaker, it is our duty. I feel strongly for film to be part of the restoration process, the healing journey that we are experiencing and going through as black people across the globe and the trauma that we collectively experience.

How do we heal? What are the healing mechanisms? Now to be honest with you, we don’t have a clear answer to that question. I feel collective communal sharing through a  very powerful visual medium like television or film, then you can project to the rest of the world and share that and say in order for us to be this idea of one world and one shared history.

Everyone has to have the opportunity to share their stories through there own  POV or point of view,  I think that’s powerful ways of sharing. We all have common stories. We share a common history of people all over the world which ultimately makes us human.

Every generation blames the generation before them.

 

Racial ideas and ideology, culture and religion etcetera, are just all divisive mechanisms put in place for a form divide, rule and conquer….not to be cliched,  we have the same blood and all of that. I have transformed, transgressed that phase. I have passed that idea

Anger is fine. Anger is important. We have to be angry. We can’t all just hear  I am sorry and forgive right now,

What if I don’t want to forgive you right, now, and maybe  I want to make a film about that as part of the idea of forgiveness, as collective forgiveness.

That makes film become an interesting mechanism and medium, for multiple purposes. I feel,  personally, we can use film a methodology of social healing for healing the self and healing communities.

 

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

What I have to say about all the people who doubted me…interesting question.  I always think about, one person comes to mind, a schoolteacher.

I wasn’t necessarily the greatest student, to be honest in high school.  I  probably could have done more. I was like, reckless and mischievous. I would say, I gave a lot of trouble.

Was I a rebel? Not sure, I don’t want to throw those words around. One teacher just didn’t like me. I was thinking about her the other day,

I think you always doubted me, I don’t think you ever believed in me, and now that my work is out there in the mainstream? I wonder if she saw my name out there. I wonder what she would think, after seeing what I had done.

I don’t want to reference people that doubted me.  I am not going to make a film for people. I make films am driven to or inspired to make. I don’t care about whether people agree with my standpoint, I love those who love me on the real level, beyond blood, blood relatives. My family is universal.  I am very blessed. We share this brokenness.As a broken people, we come together and we form this path of healing, the heal of our wounds….

What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?

What advice do I give to those aspiring creatives that look up to me?

The advice ideally would be to always use motivation. The idea of keeping it moving or just do it.  Life is about the idea of inspiring the other, inspiring other people. I think for me,  that is what life is about. Me inspiring other people and continuing the human change of inspiration.

One has to know your craft, know your blessing, identify your blessing.  But also knowing that this is a  very complicated world that we living in. There will be multiple stumbling blocks with a lot of us.  You carrying the torch, you carrying the great torch of your ancestors. You dont have a choice  , you have to keep that torch alight. That is the flame, the driving force, the fuel.

More important is to have a voice. Have a political voice. I don’t mean party politics.  Having a geopolitical view of the world and its complexities. An understanding of global politics. Deciphering the bullshit of what the news tells you, projecting that in your work. Be that change you ultimately want to see.

What you see is what you see. What you know is different

Mutabaruka

Welcome #ExploremotherlandAfrica

Slavery is not African history. Slavery interrupted African history.

Mutabaruka

“#CreatePreneurAfrica” Launching Soon: Publication of the Millenium!

 

COMING SOON. GET READY FOR #CREATEPRENEUR AFRICA. Drop in your details in the form below, if you feel you fit in  #CreatepreneurAfrica and feature in the launch of the millennium

Meet  our top  #CreatePeneurAfrica features thus far:

ALL THE WAY FROM MADAGASCAR: Meet Lalah Raindimby, extraordinaire root Madagascar songstress and musician with several social causes for nurturing the future of Madagascar

#CreatepreneurAfrica- Island of Madagascar- Lalah Raindimby

ALL THE WAY FROM TANZANIA:  Meet Pablo Zungu Createpreneur Extraordinaire

‘#CreatepreneurAfrica’ – Pablo Zungu Art wonders in Tanzania

ALL THE WAY FROM SOUTH AFRICA: Meet Tu Nokwe– LIving Music Legend and more!

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Conversations with Tu Nokwe

 

ALL THE WAY FROM EAST AFRICA: Meet Shabani Mpita,  specialized field and tour guide  as well as a creative artist

http://exploremotherlandafrica.com/turning-creative-passions-into-profit/

From Lagos Nigeria, Dance Sensation Taiwo Soyebo the founder of Tourism expression, poetry, and arts festival, T.E.P.A.F

#CreatepreneurAfrica @Taiwo Soyebo – Dancing away in Nigeria

 

 

From Morogoro Tanzania- Meet the world of animation and the JUU Afrikan Festival Clenga Ngatigwa

CreatePreneurAfrica@Cleng’a Ng’atigwa- Animation and traditional music in Tanzania

From Bagamoyo in Tanzania – Meet drummer from the acrobat and drummer group, Mafisi, meet Thomas Mura.

“#CreatepreneurAfrica @Thomas Mura: Soul Rhythm from Bagamoyo

 

From Tanzania, meet master sculptor and artist  Saidi Mbungu, and his passion to share his skill and uplift coming generations with his Africa Modern Art project.

“#CreatepreneurAfrica @Thomas Mura: Soul Rhythm from Bagamoyo

#CreatePreneurAfrica Zziwa Aaron Alone, Uganda’s King of Guerilla Fimmaking!

 

Filmmaker taking the World by Storm- Meet Kurt Orderson– Azania Rizing!

CreatepreneurAfrica – Cape Town filmmaker Kurt Orderson conquers the world with ‘Azania Rizing’

 

From South Africa meet the award-winning actress, storyteller and community leader Andrea Dondolo.

#CreatePreneurAfrica-Andrea Dondolo, Queen Spirit Shining Light in South Africa

Tantalizing Tastebud Treat sensation- Chef Li!

CreatePreneurAfrica -Tastebud treats from Chef Li

 

Hakeem Kae-Kazim , Africa’s leading actor taking the world cinema stage by storm!

#CreatePreneurAfrica- Africa icon Hakeem Kae Kazim- takes the world cinema stage by storm!

 

He is about to spread light all over Africa. Meet our leading scientist Emmanuel Obayagbona

#CreatePreneurAfrica-Meet Africa’s Fastest Rising Scientist : Emmanuel Obayagbona

Our Pan African media proprietor Rosie Motene takes center stage in raising Africa’s stream of talent.

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Pan Africa media proprieter – Our Voice of Africa : Rosie Motene

Africa’s poetic vision meet Kariuki wa Nyamu, sharing his journey into the light of words.

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Africa Poetic vision : Kenya’s Kariuki wa Nyamu

Proudly Tanzanian actor Kihaka GND is ready to shine, universally!

#CreateprenuerAfrica – Proudly Tanzanian Actor – Kihaka GND

Mak Manaka ,South Africa poet-  spreading the word with  soul purpose

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Poetically speaking : Mak Manaka

Jihan El Tahri, Egyptian filmmaker  raises consciousness with awakening documentaries across the continent

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Visionary Soul Filmmaker Jihan El Tahri

 

Afrodazzled’ Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru in his spectacular vision of spectacles

#CreatepreneurAfrica- ‘Afrodazzled’ Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru- “C-Stunner Spectacular Spectacles”

Nigerian Fashionista UKachukwu Okechukwu journeys us through his design of the century vision

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Nigerian Fashionista Supreme – Ukachukwu Okechukwu

 

Meet Donald Molosi – he has some critical love letter for humanity!

CreatePreneurAfrica – Botswana’s Donald Molosi’s “Critical love letters to Humanity”

Mountaineer Monde Sitole is taking Africa to new heights. Are we ready to join him and reach new peaks?

#CreatePreneurAfrica- Mountaineer Monde Sitole, Peak performance “Reaching Heights of Soul Liberation”

 

 

Meet trailblazer filmmaker Vincent Moloi. The voice of the nation

#CreatepreneurAfrica Vincent Moloi : Trailblazer filmmaker capturing human existence dynamics!

#CreatepreneurAfrica – La Famosà – Dominican fashion mogul in Uganda

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Oluwabukola Michael Nelson, Making Nigerian dreams a reality!

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Sandile Ngidi : ‘Africa’s Literary Empire’

#CreatepreneurAfrica, Liberian Patrice Juah – “A Gem of Unimaginable Proportions”

#CreatepreneurAfrica- Nigeria’s Lieutenenant Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu

ExploreMotherland Africa region Contact list

 

Welcome to  #ExploremotherlandAfrica.   We aim to provide the ultimate tool for exploring Africa. A  listing of all service providers in each region. We will feature hosts, volunteer programmes, tour operators, accommodation and restaurant listings.

Each service provider will be evaluated prior to publishing to ensure travellers top level experiences on their journey to #ExploreMotherlandAfrica.

We welcome reviews from travellers as well.  All service providers, please provide details and links in the form below.

 

 

Travellers tell us about your experiences and recommendation

 

 

 

Welcome #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

Timeless Train Journeys In Africa

Traveling is not about the destination. It is about the journey.  There are much quicker ways to get from one point to the next, yet train travels at a slow pace phase out the daily life hustle and bustle rush hour chaotic streams.

It is the ideal escape getaway, savoring moments on the pathway reaching the desired destination.

Trains are a differing dimension, gradual travel embracing experience realms of the beyond.

Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam with Rovos Rail

 

Rovos Rail

The epic journey takes a full fourteen days. The pride of Africa trip passes through Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe before reaching Tanzania!

 

 

 

 

A chance to experience diamond towns, historic villages, game reserves as well as Victoria Falls.

The high point is Great Rift Valley where there are dramatic viaducts, switchbacks, and tunnels. There is also a twenty-eight day Cape to Cairo journey every two years.

South Africa – Blue Train Journey

Blue Train-South Africa

The Blue train in South Africa is the most famous and has been dubbed as a  5-star hotel on wheels.

The meals, wine, accommodation with scenery along the 994-mile journey leaves from Pretoria taking off to the motherland of Cape Town takes about twenty-seven hours. This comes with stopovers.

There is also a trip from Pretoria to Durban at certain times during the year. This train journey with exclusive silk lines and bathroom gold fittings, cuisines by top chefs and nature scenes from the window is the ultimate experience in Africa

Namibia’s Desert Express

Desert Express

The Desert Express is a train for tourists between Windhoek and Swakopmund as well as Walvis Bay. There are excursions to the Etosha National Park. The elegant dining room is well equipped and conference facilities are on offer as well.The Desert Express in convenient modern and beats the desert heat.

Nairobi’s Jambo Kenya Deluxe

Jambo Kenya Deluxe

The Jambo Kenya Deluxe is a route between Nairobi and Mombasa. The overnight leisure trip from city to coast, savannah giraffes, zebras and ostriches are spotted while savouring gourmet cuisine and fine wines.  Comfortable sleeping berths epitomizes the deluxe of the journey

Tanzania to Zambia with TAZARA

TAZARA

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA):  Kilimanjaro and Mukuba express are passenger trains operating on TAZARA.  It runs for 1860km between Dar Es Salaam and Zambia
Running a few times each week, the journey takes approximately two days and nights. This is for intrepid travellers with little concern for luxury or punctuality. The spectacular scenery makes up for delays and service

 Tunisia’s ‘Lezade Rouge’

Lezarp Rouge

This antique  ‘Lezade Rouge’ tourist train,  runs daily into Atlas mountains foothills in the south of Tunisia.It passes through mining countries on the route from Metlaoui to Redeyef with periodic views. The journey is an hour long in each direction

South Africa’s Shosholoza Meyl

Shosholoza Meyl

An alternative for budget travellers Shosoloza offers intercity journeys between Johannesburg and each major city. The pleasant journey takes the exact same route as luxury trains and costs less than $100. The trains are not elegant but comfortable and save flight hassles between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Zimbabwe Rail

Zimbabwe rail

Travel overnight between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Rail features the classic 1950s-era British coaches with interiors of wooden panels. Elephants and baboons wander around in great sightings

 Mauritania’s Train du Desert

Mysterious Mauritiana unravels in a   2 story passenger carriage, Train du Desert. Guest spend time at excursion spots like  Chinguetti , the holy city the Azougui oasis, Ben Amira rock monolith.

Welcome #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

A Taste of Cape Town

How would anyone define a Cape Town meal? Malay chicken curry? ‘Smaaklik’ potjiekos? Mouthwatering Chakalaka?

Cape Town offers all these meals and a whole lot more. A rich culinary history that delights palates.

The cooking inspiration of our fair mother city Cape town comes from way back in time. The Dutch arrival; in 1652 on the shores added to diversity with farming expertise, harvesting succulent crops, and veggies that fed the starving sailors.

 

Potjiekos, a veggie and meat wine flavoured rice dish is popular meal choice of celebration and ‘Melktert’ (milk tart) as well.

The slave era and arrival of Javanese during the 18th century were often hired as chefs in the Dutch households and the gourmet influences they brought, lives on in Cape town dishes with an African twist spinning out unique cuisine.

The tasty hearty Cape Twon flavours improved with the Italian, German, Chinese, Portuguese and French residents and others. The melting pot of the Mother City is filled with flavours!

There are many circles of enjoying well-cooked home meals in the Cape Malay variety in the bustling Cape Town streets.  Discover cuisines of any flavour from Greek, Morrocan, Mediterranean, Moroccan, American or Nigerian and another African cuisine at superb bistros and restaurants. Whether taste buds call for a bobotie or Cape Malay roti and beef curry, there are streams of culinary treats

  1. Biltong

The national South African snack.One bite gets you hooked. The dried meat gets cured in vinegar with a spicy blend creating and addictive flavour.


  1. Sosaties

Barbecues or ‘braais are common past times. Sosaties are the cape version of kebabs. Meat marinated in chutney and curry skewed with apricots and onions.


  1. Pap

Pap is derived from cornmeal and accompanies  all cuisines.


4.   Bobotie

Bobotie, a common  Cape Malay cuisine is made from minced meat and curry that is baked and topped with dried fruits. It brings out the ethnic Cape Town flavours.


  1. Waterblommetjie Bredie

Unique to Cape Town the waterblommetjies is an indigenous flower that is edible and grows wild in the ponds. Bredie is a South African version of a stew and becomes a rich and elegant comfort food.


Boerewors

The sausage of South Africa


 

Gatsbys

Gatsby’s are  Cape Town specialities like  Bunnie Chows are  Durban treats. The sandwich is a basically a  hollowed out roll with a curried filling or mixture.


Snoek and Chips

The best fish and chips in the entire world are found in Cape Town.


Malva Pudding

For dessert  Malva pudding, a  sweet and savoury spongy dish with apricot jam and a caramelized texture served with ice cream or custard.

 

Welcome .#ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

The other side of Cape Town-‘Township Vibes’

 

The township reflects joy in freedom, human rights, justice and reconciliation. From shebeens to sangomas, a township visit is a unique, emotional and sensory experience abuzz with vivid social culture. Each township tells its own story about its establishment, its struggle through the apartheid years and its current situation.

A township tour can be one of the most illuminating and life-affirming experiences you’ll ever have.

 

Down the road from Cape Town, with its magnificent beaches and world-class restaurants, warm African hospitality awaits in a bustling environment that few visitors to the city ever experience. An offering of an authentic taste of South African Township life leaves and adventurous traveler a unique experience.

B&B accommodation in townships has bright, cheerfully decorated rooms with a strong African Flavour.  Meals at this unpretentious focus on traditional Xhosa dishes.

Gugulethu, Cape Flats

Gugulethu ‘Gugs‘, – our pride -is one of the oldest black townships in South Africa and one of the most energetic and fastest developing.

Gugulethu was established in 1958 because of the migrant labour system. It grew as the number of migrant workers from the Transkei increased and Langa became too small.

It was originally named Nyanga West,  rooms were allocated in hostels, where three men had to share a tiny room.These were times when poverty, oppression and overcrowding were the order of the day under apartheid rule.

The hostels were for men only, no wives were allowed to visit their husbands. Women were left behind in the former Transkei and Ciskei homelands. The hostels remain the oldest buildings in Gugulethu.

In our present day, ‘Gugs’ is a mixture of former hostels and tin shacks, people built for privacy, as well as  brick and mortar houses in the wealthier ranks

‘Gugs’ is a vibrant, thriving community reflecting all classes of South African society. Soak up hot, township jazz at the Uluntu Community Centre, shop at NY1s Eyona Shopping Centre or watch boxing at the Indoor Sports Stadium on NY1.

‘Gugs’ was the first black township to have an information technology centre. Ikhwezi (the star) Community centre is situated just next to the Yellow Door jazz club in NY-3. The centre provides top class training in multimedia and youth development programs. The area has a sports field, community centres and schools.

Eyona Shopping Centre, Gugulethu has the Ubuntu arts promotion and Cyn Catering service situated at the Yellow Door Jazz Café. It is popular for its drama, art and craft stalls, marimba music and top class jazz.

Sivuyile – we are happy – is the tourism information centre in Gugulethu. It opened an art and craft shop in 1999 and assists college art, students and local artist. It also serves as a photographic gallery. Young artists in the community produce sculptures, ceramics, beadwork, traditional clothing and textiles.

The Link, the first independent Black township newspaper in Cape Town, founded in 1997, has its offices in the Sivuyele College.

The best way to experience ‘Gugs’ is to go and see for yourself.

The Direct Action Centre for Peace and Memory (DACPM) in Woodstock runs history and memory excursions and trains former freedom fighters to become excursion facilitators and take visitors to sites that are etched into South African memories: District Six, the Trojan Horse Memorial in Athlone, Langa and the Gugulethu Seven. The excursions have opened up spaces for freedom fighters to start the process of healing and reconstruction.

The tours also create the opportunity for others to listen, interact and understand what so many went through during the liberation struggle and the struggle of today: the struggle for jobs. Most stories that are told are very individual, very personal. And -also important- they are told with dignity.”

Gugulethu Seven Memorial

But the highlight of any trip to ‘Gugs’must be the Gugulethu Seven Memorial

On 3 March 1986, seven young activists were ambushed in a roadblock set up by police in NY-1 Street. The “Gugulethu Seven” as they are known, is one of the most callous examples of security forces operations. Built to commemorate their death, the Gugulethu Seven Memorial was sculpted by South African artists Donovan Ward and Paul Hendricks. The sculpture stands close to where the seven were murdered.

The cut-outs project onto the road surface in a play of sunlight and shadow that brings them back to life.

The work not only commemorates death but life and nation building – it combines elements of ruin or incompleteness with parts that seem to have just been constructed. It was unveiled in March 2000 on Human Rights Day.

Feel the township vibes in South Africa #Explore MotherlandAfrica