Ndifuna Ukwazi Fellows’ trip to Johannesburg

Ndifuna Ukwazi Fellows’ trip to Johannesburg

Cape Town International Airport

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The fellows and tutors of Ndifuna Ukwazi just got out of the My CiTi Bus at Cape Town International Airport and were so excited about the trip to Johannesburg.

 

12 Decades hotel

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We arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport excited as ever because for some of us it was the first time flying. We went to Maboneng Precinct transport which took us to the 12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel in which we were staying. We really enjoyed the hotel – each room had a history to tell about the apartheid era.

 

Maboneng

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Maboneng is the name of the area we stayed in, in Johannesburg. The name was changed from City Of Gold to Maboneng which means ‘the city of light’.

Bheki, our tour guide, gave us a tour around Maboneng and we saw something we’ve never seen in Cape Town; small businesses that are run by young business men and women who are boosting each other and also the creativity and art is the second of Johannesburg.

 

ART Graffiti by Faith 47

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This is day two in JHB on our way to Carlton Centre we passed by many Black empowerment businesses and also saw one of the most famous Art Graffiti in South Africa by Faith47. There’s also one in Khayelitsha that says” the people shall share in the country’s wealth”.

 

Carlton Center Rooftop

jhb_5This is Carlton Centre Rooftop, the tallest building in Africa, where we saw the view of the whole city of Johannesburg. It also tells South African history of how Smuts arrived in South Africa. After the rooftop, we went to the Mandela Bridge and the Constitutional Court.

 

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After touring the Carlton Centre Rooftop we went to the Workers Museum where it used to be a hostel for workers but turned into a museum. Most of the things there are still the same but other sides are telling the story of the workers; how they were treated.

After that we walked to the Mandela Bridge on our way to the Constitutional Court.

 

Constitutional Court

jhb_7 When we first entered at the Constitutional Court we saw these pictures of current and former Chief Justices. The bottom left picture is of the late Arthur Chaskalson who was also a president of the Constitutional Court. Justice Chaskalson was also a member of the defense team in the Rivonia Trial of 1963, and in the second row, third picture from the left, it is Kate O’Regan, the former  Justice that is currently heading the Commission Of Inquiry in Khayelitsha for safe communities.

 

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This was the best experience ever in our lives, sitting in chairs of Chief Justice in Constitutional Court all six fellows … wow!

 

Breakfast with Barbara Hogan and Ahmed Kathrada

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This was also one of the best moments we had in JHB, meeting one of the legendary defiance leaders of the apartheid era, Ahmed Kathrada who was one of the people who organised the campaign of defiance against unjust apartheid laws. He was a member of the South African Indian Congress (SAIC). ANC and SAIC worked together to organise a multiracial Congress of the people which proclaimed the Freedom Charter. He was one the people arrested during the Rivonia Trial with Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, and spent 18 years on Robben Island.

His partner Barbara Hogan joined the ANC in 1981 and was arrested in 1987 and detained in solidarity confinement for a year. While in detention she was assaulted and tortured by security officers during interrogation. She was charged with treason and other alternative chargers under the terrorism act and found guilty of treason and sentenced 10 years in prison on 21 October 1982. This made her the first white women to be charged and convicted of treason.

After the apartheid era in September 2008 she became Minister of Health and served until 10 May 2009, after which she was appointed Minister of Public Enterprises. Outside of government, Hogan served as council member of the Robben Island Museum and was a member of the Amandla AIDS Fund, established in 2003 and is currently the chair at Ndifuna Ukwazi.

 

Mandela House

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This is Vilakazi Street, Soweto, where Nelson Mandela and his family used to live during apartheid. The area has been a home to many political activists including Archbishop Demond Tutu. Mandela didn’t spend a lot of time in Vilakazi street because of the anti-apartheid struggle drove him underground. Today the Mandela House is a Museum where tourists can go and see how Mandela used to live in very humble beginnings.

 

Hector Peterson Museum 

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After spending time in Mandela House we went up Vilakazi Street where we saw the place where Hector Peterson was shot next to the now Hector Peterson Primary School. He was with another student and his sister when he was shot. The picture became the iconic image of 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa. We walked to the Hector Peterson Museum and when we approached the entrance we came across this big picture of Hector Peterson. The museum was a very emotional experience. There is a quote by his sister Antoinette “he was just an ordinary kid with no glamour, but why glamour around his death”.

 

Apartheid Museum 

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When we first entered the Museum some of us felt a strong connection with the History that the images were telling and it was as if we were in the “Apartheid Decade”, each and every picture we came across it was giving a clear demonstration of how it was to be in South Africa at that time – especially if you were not White. We managed to see most of the pictures and enjoyed it, though it was a bit emotional to watch some of the footage that was there, so really it was educational and mind opening to be there.

 

In Conclusion

We conclude by saying, what an awesome trip we had; a wonderful and educational journey. All in all it was a learning curve where some of us were touched by a beautiful Johannesburg, some of us started to think twice about moving to JHB one day. Things that inspired us were the young women and young men who are business people. The creativity or you may call it Art of JHB, it was out of this world, but I think the pictures will tell the story of our trip to Johannesburg.

 

 

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