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2 posts from July 2016


Mandela Day Graffiti Bicycle Tour

2 1Homestay students along with their RAs participated in a bike ride through the streets of Salt River, Woodstock & District 6. Rising gentrification of the neighbourhood in contrast with its current state was brought to their attention as well as the need to preserve culture within the urban space.

The first, and most significant stop, was Me'Kasi Cafe. This coffee shop is owned by Beth Uriel centre for young men from impoverished communities. This centre aims to provide the chance to pursue meaningful, independent lives through a supportive living environment, connections to educational opportunities, positive social alternatives and training in life skills. The Mandela Day Challenge aspect involved helping clean up and sort their garage and garden of the shelter as well as dialogue with young men who reside at the home.  

The bicycle ride continued through the streets of Woodstock to view Cape Town Street Art after a stop at the Old Biscuit Mill. Key pieces of graffiti and street art were viewed. Each piece has its own unique meaning that had been explained as students admired, appreciated and took photographs of the artworks. Students were advised that they could support the local artists by sharing photos of the art which could have a positive impact on the community by sharing their message.

The ride continued into the site of District 6, a historic site, where insight was shared on forced removals within South African history and how it compares to gentrification today. Here, students viewed one of the oldest pieces of street art in Cape Town, depicting the true unsung heroes of Apartheid’s end, as well as a famous piece created by one of South Africa’s most successful female artists. 

Great fun was had by all the students throughout the day, despite the challenges and discomfort. It has been shared that the students have a greater appreciation for the city and recognise the impact of gentrification on marginalised residents. Interaction with the young men from Beth Uriel as well as being of assistance have brought about a sense of humility and recognition that they may be of service, however, effective engagement would be required in order to assess the true needs of others.

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An, almost-rhyming Poem about an exploration of Cape Town

Once a group of very few girls and many a boy
Decided to journey into Cape Town from Savoy
They hopped onto the train (1st Class, only R10.50 can you believe?!)
But admittedly missed the Gaatjie or Sliding Door Operator (SDO) of mini-taxi fame.

Their first stop was Jan van Riebeek's Castle of Good Hope which he built 
Where there used to be 6 flags, minus the Apartheid one removed because of guilt. 
Unfortunately the key ceremonies of 10 am and 12 we did not see 
Because there were many other places we had to be


Cape Town's City Hall we visited next,Where we heard a snippet of Mandela's speech he made on that special day

Oh it made our souls feel so light and gay, when read in the sultry voice of our RA Rae 😀


Our feet carried us then to the Parliament steps , where the 4 pillars stood white and tall
But our hearts were unsettled when we noticed nearby slavery lodge, thank goodness for the successful #slaverymustfall!


St George's Cathedral we saw next, the oldest cathedral in Cape Town, 

and craned our necks in hope of seeing Desmond Tutu. Alas we were out of luck, 

but also saw the crpyt, 

which we have heard plays jazz that doesn't suck.


For too long we had silenced the hungry cries of our stomachs and so in search of lunch we went

And found a place where your money is well spent.

 Eastern Food Bazaar, where the prices are so low it is almost bizarre!!


With our stomachs full and our purses not doing too bad, 

we stumbled onto green market square, learnt to haggle and buy gifts and other felt, saw and heard other experiences to be had. 

There were singing children and pigeon flocks

and we left some stalls with lighter stocks. 

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Our final stop was the company gardens where we (silently) shouted RMF in front of the infamous Rhodes

and where squirrels appear in droves. 


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We also so the Iziko National Art Gallery on our way out of the gardens on our way to Hiddingh to catch the Jammie.


What a day well spent!

We think our RAs are heaven-sent😊