I am an African

Under the Settlers Freeway on the flyover pillars between the Campanile and the bus station there are a series of 10 art pieces that form part of Route 67.  The paintings, called "Identities" by Lubhi Mtathi, is a series of colourful and evocative portraits that depict young South Africans from a range of cultural backgrounds.  Its all about cultural stereotypes and misconceptions.  This is one that I strongly relate to.  I am a South African and an African.  I was born here…

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Potjiekos 101

In South Africa a braai (and please note how I say braai and not barbecue as barbecue is a chips flavour) is as part of the nation's heritage as ice is part of the North Pole.  In my opinion a braai is also just a proper braai when you start with burning wood to create coals.  But that is a discussion for a whole other day.  Something that is very much part of the braai culture is potjiekos.  Potjiekos literally translates…

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Nelson Mandela Square

Nelson Mandela Square is geleë in die hartjie van Sandton, Johannesburg en die fokuspunt van Nelson Mandela Square is 'n ses meter hoë brons standbeeld van die bekende staatsman homself.  Die standbeeld is in 2004 onthul om nie net die tiende verjaardag van Sandton City winkelsentrum te vier nie, maar ook 10 jaar van demokrasie.Die standbeeld self staan nie net ses meter hoog nie, maar weeg ook 2,5 ton.  Ek wonder of Kobus Hatting en Jacob Maponyane, die kunstenaars verantwoordelik…

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Die Uilhuis in Nieu-Bethesda

Suid-Afrika is vol van klein dorpies met interessante verhale en plekke om te ontdek, maar een van die wat baie hoog op enige iemand se lys behoort te wees is die Uilhuis in die Karoodorp Nieu-Bethesda.  Nieu-Bethesda lê so 50km noord van Graaff-Reinet en is in 1838 deur Charles Murray, 'n Nederduitse Gereformeerde dominee van Graaff-Reinet, gestig.  Met die stigting van die dorp het hy gesê, "En laten wy deze plaats nu Bethesda noemen" vanwee die vrugbaarheid van die plek en die aanwesigheid…

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CJ Langenhoven

When we visited Oudtshoorn in December I got to go to the museum in the home of the former Afrikaans writer CJ Langenhoven for the first time since I was in primary school. His house, Arbeidsgenot ("the pleasure of work") was left to "all people with a love for Afrikaans" by his widow after her death in 1950 and was opened as a museum in 1955. Cornelis Jakobus Langenhoven was born on 12 August 1873. He started out working as…

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Traditional drummer

During my visit to Tourism Indaba recently I photographed a drummer at the Lesedi Cultural Village stand playing. I have a thing for cultural drumming, so I stood listening for a while. His outfit also intrigued me, specially the plume of ostrich feathers on his head.

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Potjiekos

When you think of traditional South African foods, a couple seems to put up their hands. But the two that must be right up there in the top three or four must be braaivleis (barbecued meat) and potjiekos (stew made in a cast iron pot on the coals as well). Now I'm not the world's best cook, not by a long shot. My ranking would probably be somewhere in the top 500 million, but I would be able to help…

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The Owl House

Very few people would have heard of the little dusty Karoo village of Nieu-Bethesda if it wasn't for The Owl House. Nieu-Bethesda is situated about 3 1/2 hours north of Port Elizabeth close to the town of Graaff Reinet. The house belonged to a woman named Helen Martins. Martins became bored with her "dull" life and resolved to transform the environment around her. She began an obsessive project around 1945 to decorate her home and garden and used cement, glass…

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