samedi 30 juillet 2011

South Africa: A Dutch tourist guide in Soweto by bike!


Soweto, city founded by a Dutch!

        
Founded in 1950, at the height of apartheid, it was originally named Verwoerdville in honor of Minister for Indigenous Affairs of the time, Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd the Dutch (1901-1966), son of preachers of the Reformed Church Dutch, one of the great architects of apartheid often called the founder of the Republic of South Africa.
        
In 1955, it was under his orders that 80,000 blacks were deported from the districts of Sophiatown, Martindale and Newclare to South Western Town. A city designed to accommodate non-existent only Blacks, driven out of the white city Johannesburg, in the name of separation of the races!
        
On September 6, 1966, Hendrik F. Verwoerd is stabbed to death in parliament by the half-bred of Greek and Mozambican origin, Demitrios Tsafendas.
        
In 1976, the teeming slum became famous with "the Soweto riots" caused by the rejection of the imposition of Afrikaans as language of instruction and bloodily suppressed by the South African police.
        
And it is in the 1980, that  Soweto became the official symbol of black resistance against apartheid.
        
In 2010, Soweto is inhabited by nearly 3 million people. Some are wealthy, most are poor and very poor because Soweto concentrated poorest people of South Africa.

The Dutch of Soweto on bike!

        
Martin Jonkers (52) is the only Dutch of South Western Town (Soweto). He is married to Busi, a black South African with whom he has a boy. He lives in Soweto since 2002. After giving up his job as a mortgage advisor and retirement, he founded the company to tourists " Soweto Cycle" with Busi. Its goal: to visit Soweto by bicycle.
        
"It is not a flat country like the Netherlands. Sometimes you ride a bike at high altitude, it's hard, "he says tourists cycling guide it through his "country ".
        
With 3 million people, Soweto has become a city where there are luxury villas of South African blacks who have succeeded after Apartheid next to the hovels of cardboard sheets and disadvantaged in New South Africa .
        
"We see it quite differently from a car. Cycling, it is much more in touch with the outside world. There is an interaction, "says he hands over his handlebars.
        
"It's like a little in the province of Brabant, to Holland (...) There is an atmosphere of joy among the people. (...) All the people are poor, but when asked if they can come home, there is no problem. We do not find such things in the white neighborhoods. In the Netherlands either. It's amazing, the kindness and the hospitality "

And violence described in "Tsotsi?"

        
In 2005, Gavin Hood's film "Tsotsi," received the Oscar for best foreign film in Hollywood. The film almost ordinary violence in the slums can not be as Soweto with a human focus to the audience to tears the most hardened. Through the portrait of a young Black man in Soweto who calls himself Tsotsi, it almost feels the new South Africa through a violence that fascinates and frightens both!
        
The bike ride from Martin Jonkers leads to a small supermarket where the seller, for reasons of security barricade himself behind a gate through which he holds out food to customers.
        
"The Dutch expatriates tend to live in luxury in beautiful areas. I can not deny that the townships are dangerous. It has been nine years since I live here and I have been burgled eight times and my car was stolen three times. But social life is so nice here. I groan, but at the same time, I understand they steal because they have no money. "

A job that does not live his inventor!

        
Besides the different aspects of this "city" unusual "projects offer the shortest visit to Meadowlands (former hostel for immigrant workers), the site of student riots of 1976, the Hector Peterson Memorial (killed by young a policeman during a demonstration of high school students June 16, 1976) and the former home of Nelson Mandela and the residence of Archbishop Desmond Tutu before they drink and dance to kwaito in a Shebeen (local bar) and enjoy a typical South African meal while listening to stories about the evolution of Soweto and historical facts.
        
Martin Jonkers is accompanied by two young Dutch "Blond." The Dutch are greeted on the right and left.
        
"We always notice. The bike has not yet made its debut in South Africa. Even the poor do not. The only cycling is a factor.
(...) At present, we can not live. I also work at the IBM helpdesk. And I learned to be happy with less. Luxury goods such as iPods, no longer interest me." Concludes the only Dutch guide of Soweto.
        
Yet the initiative has attracted other vocations and activities of tourist guide to bike through Soweto flourished, but he has more color and draws the curiosity

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