It's not often you get the opportunity to really experience something real in a travel tour context. But today, my tour through Langa was eye opening, thought provoking and an amazing showcase of the divide still between people in South Africa. As an outsider I can see the huge chasm between black and white just in everyday things. My children noticed. Asking why everyone who served us (in any context) was black. Fear and defensiveness has created anger and resentment, both ways, and it's mind boggling to understand how a country with such a turbulent past, will be able to move forward.
Townships tours of Langa have become popular in recent years and we're told repeatedly that the towns inhabitants welcome the exposure (the more images out there, the less the government can ignore it) and no doubt the money helps. I must admit it felt wrong, like being an observer in a human zoo, taking photos of people going about their lives, as a tourist attraction... but getting past that, I think the images are important. It's very easy to hear "Shanty Town" and think nothing of it,. It's a lot more visceral seeing it.
A mural of Steve Biko, Anti-Apartheid Activist.