Menu Close

South Africa


The trip to South Africa was one of the most incredible experiences of my professional and personal life to be sure.  I was on a U.S. State Department sponsored, barnstorming 12 day/4 city tour-first to Johannesburg, then Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.  Got the opportunity to speak to so many different kinds of people, all with unique, inspiring stories to tell.  I collaborated with theatre artists, MCs, poets, dancers, even taught a workshop for 25 librarians!  Also lectured at several Universities including the University of Cape Town and Rhodes U, did some performing at several festivals and spoken word jams, did work in various townships-all amazing experiences.

After workshop in  Johannesburg township
After workshop in Johannesburg township


South Africa was thus far the country outside of America that I felt most connected to and here’s why.  There was something strangely familiar about it.  Their struggles with the Apartheid system, while very different from the struggles here, had some parallels that many folks there pointed out.  I was shown places where historic battles had gone down, and I swear it was like when my father recounted his days in the Civil Rights Struggle as a member of SNICC.  Also, it’s Africa, but it’s also a country with a western feel, in the technology, road construction, etc.  It is a highly developed country that is led by black people, a democracy that is trying to be truly democratic and represent all the cultures (and there are so many) that define modern South Africa

Soweto, South Africa
Soweto, South Africa


Of course it’s not all harmony and people singing kuumba ya.  There are massive issues of crime, poverty not to mention AIDS and still racism.  But the opportunities are limitless.  There exists a whole generation of young South Africans over there who have never experienced Apartheid first hand.  They are coming of age and coming into their power.  What kind of future will they create?

During Will Power Workshop in Durban
During Workshop in Durban


1 Comment

Comments are closed.