Then and Now
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A quote from one of our visitors:
“Thank you for showing us the ‘heart’ of South Africa, the way cultures can meet and give to each other, for the hope in reconciliation and the future of South Africa.”
Based at Ipelegeng Community Centre, a cultural and community hub in Soweto, White City Jabavu, we offer a number of options including:
- full and half day tours;
- walking tours;
- cycle tours;
- drumming workhops;
- gumbooting workshops;
- lunch with a family;
- Performances by local artists (by arrangement).
A full day visit to Soweto with TALK Tourism is your opportunity not only to learn about the history of Soweto, but also to engage in a two-way cultural exchange, discovering some of the fundamental concepts of urban Africa life as it develops in the 21st Century, and sharing something of your own culture and way of life with your hosts.
A Full Day may include the following:
The morning is spent visiting sites of historical significance, and would include some of the places listed below. We would also be very happy to accommodate your special interests e.g. school, church or sangoma visits, to mention just a few, if you let us know in advance of your visit.
Possible sites of interest:
Diepkloof hostel - originally set up to house male migrant workers who arrived in Johannesburg from the rural areas to work on the gold mines.
A walk and talk around an informal settlement.
Baragwanath hospital and taxi rank - the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere, which today, among other problems, faces the enormous challenges of a society ravaged by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The guide explains the history of the taxi industry as one the earliest forms of black regulated and black run businesses.
Vista University - the university campus has a major role to play in educating Soweto's youth. The guide provides a brief history of apartheid education and its role in oppressing the black majority.
Kliptown - where the famous Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955, a document that embodied the aspirations of opposition politics of the time, and significantly influenced our present constitution. The Freedom Charter was described by the South African Nobel Prize winner, Chief Albert Luthuli as " a document that gave flesh, blood and meaning to such words as democracy, freedom, liberty.”
Regina Mundi - the Catholic church that was the site of meetings and demonstrations during the anti-apartheid struggle since in the 1980’s.
Mandela's House - the house where Nelson Mandela lived before he was imprisoned on Robben Island.
Hector Petersen Memorial - the memorial was erected to commemorate the death of Hector Petersen who was the first school child to be killed in the student protests of 1976.
Optional visit to a community-based recycling project, commended by the World Summit held in South Africa in 2003.
Lunch with a Sowetan family - you will join a family in Soweto for a delicious home-cooked African meal of iphalishi (maize porridge), imfino (spinach), ithanga (pumpkin), inkukhu (chicken), samp and beans. Visitors will be encouraged to eat with your hands in true African style.
African intercultural afternoon (suitable only for groups of four or more visitors) - family members, neighbours and language helpers from the TALK project will explore with you various aspects of urban living.
Through discussion and role-play, you will experience:
* The importance and etiquette associated with greetings
* The use of titles of respect in an African language
* The significance of body language and eye contact
* An understanding of the African concept of ubuntu.
You will be given an African name, learn an African greeting with the appropriate handshake, and learn basic phrases in one of the nine official indigenous languages.
To round off the visit, your hosts will teach you one or two African songs complete with dance steps.
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"What is learned through TALK Tourism is more valuable than anything in a regular tour."
"If everyone had the opportunity to travel here, it would make everyone a better person."
"Socializing helps me to realize a lot about not only Soweto but about myself also."