I visited Soweto many years ago taking Newton Johnson wines to the first Soweto Wine Show. I have heard about the many changes in Soweto and just knew that I had to get back there to see exactly how things have changed with the hosting of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup final. I made the trip with Boyang Gape Tours and Travels and could not have asked for a more informative tour.
We drove via Houghton and made a stop at Nelson Mandela’s house in 12th Avenue. This is a private home in one of South Africa’s wealthiest neighbourhoods and not open to the public. I stepped out to feel the Madiba magic. It was there!
From there we drove to the FNB Stadium also known as Soccer City. With its distinctive calabash shape this stadium holds many memories. Madiba attended the World Cup Final here at the age of 92, stood next to Graca Machel and waved to the world.
It was time for the famous Vilakazi Street and the tour took me via the Bara Taxi Rank, next to the Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto Towers and Winnie Mandela’s house. It was notable how many of the houses where South African legends lived were corner houses, Winnie’s included. So were Madiba’s and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s in Vilakazi Street. In Vilakazi Street there were many tourists walking around or doing the SOWETO cycling tour. Lunch was happening at Sakhumzi’s. Further up the road is The Wine Bar where I could have a glass of Creation’s Sauvignon Blanc.
The lines were long at Madiba’s House and with time pressing I had to pass on this and the Hector Pieterson Museum. It was time to go home but there will be a NEXT TIME.