The weekend past – A tour of Soweto

With a fiancée that works in Soweto, it would be surprising if I didn’t go on a tour of the township; so last Saturday we took a tour of the township with our parents.

The tour started at my fiancée’s offices (VUKA uKahnye Africa) where we picked up one of her colleagues (a Social worker and a local Soweto resident) who was going to act as a tour guide for the day.

Our first stop of the day was at the Hector Pieterson Museum:
“Hector, 12, was one of the first casualties of the Soweto uprising of 16 June, 1976, when over 500 people were killed as they protested over the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools. A news photograph of the dying Hector being carried by a fellow student, was published around the world.”

The museum was an interesting look and a very graphical reminder into a violent past of South Africa; a past that neither myself or our guide remembers since both of us were only born towards the end of apartheid. I understand the need to remember the past – lest it be repeated – so overall a worthwhile visit for anyone in the area, a grand memorial to the sacrifices of the people for their freedom.

Our next stop was Nelson Mandela’s old home – a simple abode, but very heavily packed with tourists.

Our tour then traveled around the rest of Soweto to view some interesting homes and homes of historic interest on our way to the Regina Mundy Catholic Church.
We finished off the trip with a great lunch at “The Rock” pub/diner/club/shebeen – a very popular venue for the young and trendy.

Overall an interesting, informative and fun visit to Soweto.

Now all I need to do is visit the apartheid museum.