When I travel, I like to see all parts of a city, including the non-tourist areas. So there was no question that my visit to Cape Town would include a visit to the townships. I decided to visit Langa Township with Vuvu’s Small Shack Day Tours. My tour guide was Vuvu, a friendly and enterprising young lady who is also a Langa resident. It was more like a visit with an old friend who was showing me around the neighborhood.
We visited the Guga S’Thebe Arts and Cultural Centre, where we saw paintings, pottery, and other art work hand made by local residents. A highlight was when student musicians taught me to play the drum, then invited me to join them in a short jam session. I had a blast! We also visited the Langa Dompas Museum, a medicine healer, the food market, various neighborhoods, and Vuvu’s shack (yes, it’s small).
We ended our day with lunch at Mzoli’s, a popular hangout in the nearby township of Gugulethu. Not quite a restaurant, Mzoli’s is best described as a butcher/braai/outdoor dance club. You choose from a wide variety of raw meat, then have it weighed and seasoned. After you pay, you take your tray of meat to the back to be braaied (barbecued to us North Americans). If you want drinks, you buy from the store next door or bring them with you. Then you go to the covered patio to wait for your food. While waiting, the resident DJ plays a variety of house and local music. The friendly crowd dances and sings along. We waited a long time for our food (about an hour), as I had been warned to expect on the weekend. But it was worth the wait — the food was delicious.
All in all, I had an enjoyable day. I learned a lot about South African history and culture, and met some great people with whom I remain in contact. That’s the best part of global travel – meeting people and enjoying experiences you never would have in your small corner of the world.Share This