South Africa | Johannesburg
It's true what some have told me about experiencing South Africa for the first time as a black woman: that it will feel like you're coming home. I thought it would be this super emotional realization when I landed in O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg, South Africa. It wasn't. There was this sense of peace and knowing when I walked outside. There was also this sense of awe because I had never seen so many black people in one location at one time. I know that may sound like a joke but it's true! I felt the same way when I first visited Washington, D.C. (better known as Chocolate City *ahem*). Even though I live in one of the largest cities in the country with a very large population of black people, considering the size of Chicago, I still don't see as many black people as one would assume...especially when I leave the south or west sides.
Anyhow, back to Joburg or Jozi as the locals love to call it. I believe I learned more about the history of Johannesburg from talking to the people than Wikipedia could have ever taught me. I learned about the languages: there are 11 of them (could you imagine). I learned about love and what it means in marriage. It was mostly the men who shared the meaning of marriage, in their opinion, saying that it is bigger than the two people involved, it is about honoring their ancestors. I learned that the first school built there was an all-girls school that still stands (fully guarded). One of our tour guides shared his disdain for the missionaries bringing their religions believing that it has caused most of the problems among tribes. That gave me something deep to think about on our 3 hour drive, passing through shanty towns, to the Pilanesberg National Park for our safari.
Ultimately, Johannesburg, South Africa is a beautiful place that I think everyone should try to visit at least once in their lives. It's full of religious, mining (gold and diamonds), racial, and farming history.
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