It was day 5 and the guests were ready to take on the next adventure.
The curiosity in the air was palpable as the guests chit-chatted about the previous day and what the day might have in store for them.
The tour bus was right on time as the guests got on and were greeted by a warm tour guide who seemed so excited to talk about Johannesburg’s key land marks. They went on the bus and were taken around Johannesburg getting told about South Africa’s rich history and culture inherent in its metropolitan city.
Gold reef city, Gauteng’s premium theme park was next on the agenda. Initially, the guests were curious and took a host of photos by the caricatures at the entrance of Gold Reef City. Many seemed enthusiastic about the rides right until they encountered them of course…
Some guests were wide-eyed and turning blue at the thought of going on the rides; the particular one that had everyone’s fear factor on the rise was the anaconda which was quite the scare if the screams from those on it was anything to go by. The tower of terror was another which seemed really exciting as it dropped 49 feet into the ground into a former mine shaft; themed along with one of South Africa’s most recognized features, its richness in minerals.
Soweto! As soon as the next destination was announced, all were excited as the name is so synonymous to South Africa and its history as well as, the legendary Nelson Mandela. True to its synonym, the guests headed off to what is popularly called ‘the Mandela house’ on Vilakazi street, Orlando West. The guests were informed that this house was where Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962.
Another interesting fact the guests noted was that the Mandela House is only a short distance up the road from the Tutu House, the home of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate most popularly known for his role in bringing South Africa to peace and unity post-apartheid.
Mandela donated the house to the Soweto Heritage Trust of which he was the founder on 1 September 1997, to be run as a museum. It was declared a National Heritage Site in 1999.
The house was a single-story red-brick matchbox built in 1945. It had bullet holes in the walls and the facade had scorch marks from attacks with Molotov cocktails. Inside the house, some original furnishings and memorabilia could be found including photographs, citations given to Nelson Mandela, and the world championship belt given to Mandela by Sugar Ray Leonard.
The property included a visitors’ centre and a small museum. The stone carved ‘M’ in front of the property was a major photo-op spot with all the hosts taking photos next to it in show of their visit to the Mandela House.
It was highlighted on the visit that in his auto-biography, Nelson Mandela wrote of the house:
“That night I returned with Winnie to No. 8115 in Orlando West. It was only then that I knew in my heart I had left prison. For me No. 8115 was the centre point of my world, the place marked with an X in my mental geography.”
The guests were entertained with the local dancer in Soweto, and then had a local lunch in Soweto where the meat was braaied; braai is the South African term for barbeque and boy was the meat everything and then some! The guests were sad to leave but had to head back to the hotel in time to get dressed for Africa’s number one musical awards event, the MAMAs!
The MAMA Awards this year was hosted in the city of Johannesburg at the Ticket Pro Dome. The guests arrived in style of course, by limousine. With a seating capacity of over 2000, the musical celebrities arrived from all over Africa looking so elegant. The guests were all dressed with the ladies rocking different outfits from elegant dresses to well tapered jumpsuits and the male hosts looking like the perfect gentle men in their suits. Our guetss, Jackie Appiah, Praiz, Ay Comedian and Juliet Ibrahim presented awards on stage to various category winners.
The electrifying performances from all across Africa and a special guest performance from Future definitely had the crowd dabbing and doing the dougie and the hosts would not be left out of the excitement!
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