My Last Day in Africa

Trip Start Aug 26, 2012
Trip End Dec 22, 2013

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Where I stayed
Shoestrings Airport Lodge Kempton Park
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of South Africa  , Gauteng,
Friday, December 7, 2012

My final day in Africa was spent in Johannesburg and the original plan was to do nothing but lie by the pool at the place I was staying at. But when I saw the state of the pool (half filled with black water) I quickly changed my mind and decided to make my way to the Apartheid museum which was across town from where I was staying. I was able to get a ride from the owner of the Backpackers to the Gautrain station nearby and rode that all the way into town and then caught a taxi from there to the museum which was right next door to the Gold Reef Amusement Park.  Despite what I've heard about J’burg it actually didn’t seem too bad.  The train was nice and with lots of security and the parts of town I saw from taxi seemed decent enough.  I’m sure there is a lot I missed and those are the areas I don’t want to be in anyways.

It took me about 4hrs to get through the museum and I was rushing at the end mainly due to the freezing cold air conditioning.  The first part of the museum was outside, and your ticket designated you as either white or non-white. Based on the designations (I was non-white) you had to go through different entrances; trying to instill what it would be like under apartheid.  I think you saw the same things until eventually meeting back up once further in the museum.  For a serious topic to intake, having part of the museum outside and hearing the shrieks from the people on the rollercoaster next door  was a bit odd but did lighten the mood a tad.

The temporary exhibition (which is actually not that temporary as it has been there for four years) was about Nelson Mandela’s life through seven themes; character, comrade, leader, prisoner, negotiator and statesman.  It was fantastic and exactly what I was hoping to find at Robben Island in Cape Town. At the end you then got to participate in the exhibition by choosing a colored stick that matches a set of  Mandela quotes that best resonates with you and place it in a holder along the walk way.

Afterwards I continued on to the next sections and learned about some of the history of the different cultures in SA pre-apartheid, the history of how apartheid came about, the years of race classification, the 150 acts of apartheid, detentions, and the oppression of the nationalist regime.  The final section was all about the rise of the black consciousness, the armed struggle and the freeing of Nelson Mandela after 27 years in prison which in term lead to the final negotiations of peace and the end of apartheid. 

I’m so glad I went to the museum as I had been bothered about what I was seeing in South Africa.  I came away with a better understanding of the past and present because unfortunately apartheid does still exist in many forms today.  For as many years as apartheid was in force, I’m afraid it will take that many years and maybe more for it to be truly eradicated from South Africa; until the generations who participated and remember apartheid are gone.  My hope would be that it is sooner rather than later.
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Uncle Don on

Hey Molly:

Best wishes for your adventures on the Indian Sub-continent! I have been consolidating your blog into a document for your Grand Mom. Your African journey filled 100 pages. Travel safe and keep up the good work on the blog!
Much Love, Don and Lisa

Don Macinnes on

Happy Birthday Molly!!!Hope you are well and you enjoy the day,thanks for the Great Blogs.Take care and enjoy!!!!!!

Bev MacLaren on

Enjoying your blogs, Molly. Happy Birthday to you and best wishes as you continue your journey.....Bev

forward on

juss wishing if iwas travelling with you. enjoy have funny

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