After 3 weeks in Cape Town (instead of 2 initially scheduled), the time has come to be on the road again to reach Oudtshoorn, Orania and Joburg, deeper in the country.
It was not easy to leave the “mother city”… We could have spent our entire 3 months-stay there, continually conducting project activities but never being weary of the city’s charms. But Cape Town’s reality isn’t the country’s reality. So, this is the reason why we’re going to see how it is elsewhere. And we’re going to start our discovery with the Afrikaners’ lands.
Positive vibrations in Cape Town
When one arrives in Cape Town by air, apartheid’s damages are blindingly obvious: from the airport to the coast, the road is surrounded by overpopulated townships where Black people live, and then Coloured areas (apparently better settled). Once downtown, on the pleasant border of the Atlantic Ocean, inhabitants drive pick-ups and Ferraris between luxurious, opulent, and extravagant houses.
The city is still broadly segregated and it will take generations to initiate a change. Cape Town is still well-known for being slow at erasing apartheid's effect. Former “White only” areas haven’t really changed populations, even if the “non-White” people are now authorized to live there and the Coloured and Black areas are open to the white population…
So of course, it gives a strange feeling, a weird atmosphere. And yet, for the first time since I have known South Africa, I am having a kind of euphoric feeling, the same kind of feeling one has when he travels abroad. Till now I always needed time to appreciate South Africa for its own true worth. Its inequalities (some of the broadest in the world), its racism and its violence have always spoiled my feelings…Today, I’m still madden by the inequalities, but we’ve been able to meet so many people who are fighting against these inequalities, that I don’t see Cape Town in the same way as before. Cape Town is suddenly becoming this vibrating part of South Africa that moves, slowly but confidently, towards more hope for the young generation. We would like to thank Helen Lieberman, Gladys Thomas, Jeremy Koeris and Mark Crandall for welcoming us and for passing the positive energy they have for their country on to us.
And THANK YOU to : Chantél, Andrea, Dany, Mélinda, Octavius, Clémence, Nathalie, Aurélie, Duncan, Louis, Sylvia, Françoise, Simon for their welcome/ support/ accommodations/ help to meet people and their patience to understand our English (sometimes quite hard to understand ;-). Ubumi is more than thankful to you guys!