South Africa

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The Taung Child (or Taung Baby) is the fossilised skull of a young Australopithecus Africanus

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Boer War #1 (1880-1881)                           Anglo-Zulo War (1879)                              1879  Boer Wars # 2 (1899 - 1892)

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You’ve heard of that wonderful fella  

Yes, that one:  Nelson Mandela!

Xhosa from Thembu royalty to a law degree

In his heart he was a revolutionary

Led a sabotage campaign

Tried for conspiracy in 1961

Sentenced to life in prison

Released by President deKlerk in 1990

 

In 1991, President de Klerk had begun

Repealing most legislation                     

Which apartheid was based on
 

Mandela Joined the ANC (African National Congress)

Led the party to victory

Mandela was President

From ’94 -to  ’99

Another term he did decline

 

Became an elder statesman

One who loved his great nation

His Goals were to combat poverty

 HIV/AIDS through charity.

An icon of social justice is he

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993

Known at home as “Madiba”,

Father of the Nation - ya

Died in 2013 at the age of 95

But his legacy will survive

 

 In this country, this mighty country

 People are willing to fight

 Yes, in this country, this mighty country

 People fight for human rights

So, we’re walking - and - we are talking         

‘Bout South Africa today

We are walking - and - we are talking

‘Bout South Africa today

 

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh,

South Africa, South Africa

What’d we say, what’d we say, what’d we say

South Africa, South Africa

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FW deKlerk and Nelson Mandela  shake hands

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Miriam Makeba

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Graca Machel-Mandela

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Rosina Mamokgethi Phakeng

In this country, this mighty country

People are willing to  fight

Yes, in the country, the mighty country

People fight for human rights
 

So, we’re walking - and - we are talking         

‘Bout South Africa today

We are walking - and - we are talking

‘Bout South Africa today

 

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh,

South Africa, South Africa

What’d we say, what’d we say, what’d we say

South Africa, South Africa

 

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” I’m sure you’ve heard

Do you know  Solomon Linda & the Evening Birds. 

SA musicians wrote this in 1939

Named it Mgube Zulu for Lion ,

In the 50’ s  US musicians thought it great

Loved the rhythm, the range.  Thought it free to take

Adapted, recorded, made millions in no time

Became US musicians gold mine

Solomon and the Birds only got a thousand

Ain’t that just the way to treat a friend

 

Would you like to listen to the song as you read tonight

The links are at the end so you can click them all right

History here quite complex

Dates back further than dinosaur rex                       

Oldest archeological sites

Oldest human fossil sites

Findings suggest humans lived here                        

About three million years ago

Fossilized findings everywhere

World Heritage Site” said UNESCO

See the skull of the Taung child

What was found might drive you wild

Called “Cradle of Humankind”

Imagine what else they did find

 

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh

South Africa, South Africa

What’d we say, what’d we say, what’d we say

South Africa, South Africa

Who settled here  you’d like to know, aaahhh          

No!  Not Trevor! the Bantu & Xhosa,

Then Portuguese, followed by the Dutch        

Britain saved SA from France & such

Were there Wars ?  Yes, oh brother!

One war right after another!

Two Boer Wars, Anglo-Zulo War,

Tribal conflicts & rebellions galore

 

Ever hear of concentration camps?

These camps carried the  British stamp

Over 27,000 Boer women and children died

Who knows why or how much they cried

In this country, this mighty country

People are willing to fight

Yes, this country, the mighty country

People fight for human rights

So, we’re walking - and - we are talking         

‘Bout South Africa today

We are walking - and - we are talking

‘Bout South Africa today

 

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh,

South Africa, South Africa

What’d we say, what’d we say, what’d we say

South Africa, South Africa

 

Now here’s another interesting fact                         

In 1948, SA apartheid policy

Was framed by Canada’s Indian Act

Racial “apartness” was ordinary

Since 1913.  Maybe even before

Here, there.  All the world over

Apartheid met with much opposition

You can imagine differing positions

Both external and internal

Apartheid became controversial

Countries boycotted SA

Guerrilla warfare on display

One Oomama  has a friend or two

But did you know Graca Machel

If not, then it’s time you do

Married and widowed twice

First to Mozmbique’s president, Samora Machel                   

Then to SA’s president Nelson Mandela;  how nice!                

 

She did far more than marry powerful men

She worked to reduce hunger, increase education

Researched the impact of war on children for the UN

She’s  life-long award-winning  humanitarian

We’ve seen a lot and ’twas all just fine            

Now where shall we go?

Let’s ask Mr. Trevor Noah

He’s the one who was Born a Crime

And tells us the twists and turns his life took

In his very readable book

Guess who moved here in his teens

From SA , maybe wearing jeans?

Guess what he did when he was only ten

Created a computer video game, and then

Outer space, rockets, electric cars, pay pal

More endeavours as you can tell

All kinds of inventions for his curious mind

The world’s richest man you’ll ever find

Do you know about Miriam Makeba

Click on the link to hear her “Pata Pata”

Yes, we can all dance to this pop song

But, might be tricky to sing along

 

She was quite a revolutionary

Against apartheid she did fight

Got herself  banned from SA,

In the US she married Black Panther leader,

Stokely Charmichael; then lost her US visa

During a concert in 2008, she collapsed and died

You can imagine how the audience cried

Of her Nelson Mandela spoke and said this

"her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us.”

 

In her UN testimony against apartheid,

she requested an arms embargo on the basis that

SA government would use them against

Women and children who were black

Hence her citizenship was revoked;  her music banned

She now has honorary citizenship in 10 nations in our land

 

She worked closely with Graça Machel-Mandela,

Advocating for children throughout the nation

Child soldiers, HIV/AIDS, handicapped physically.

Goodwill Ambassador of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization

She established the Makeba Centre for Girls,

A home for orphans, described in an obituary as her most personal project

Before we leave for Cape Town,

Here’s another person quite renowned

Her mother a teacher; her father the first black radio announcer

Her name?  Rosina Mamokgethi Phakeng  Can you pronounce it? 

First black woman to earn a mathematics Phd

Now Vice Chancellor of Cape Town University

Founder of Adopt a Learner

Providing education to low-income children.

 

In this country, this mighty country

People are willing to fight

Yes, this country, the mighty country

People fight for human rights

 

So, we’re walking - and - we are talking         

A trip to Cape town today

We are walking - and - we are talking

Off to Cape Town today

 

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh,

We’ll see Cape Town today

What’d we say, what’d we say, what’d we say

Yes, beautiful Cape Town today

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After JohannesburgCape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and also the legislative capital. Colloquially called the Mother City, it is the largest city of the Western Cape province.  The Parliament of South Africa is situated in there. Cape Town is known for its harbour, for its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, and for landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point.

 

The other two capitals are located in  Pretoria , (the executive capital where the Presidency is based) and in Bloemfontein (the judicial capital where the Supreme Court of Appeal is located).  

Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town, as the oldest urban area in the Western Cape, it was developed by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) as a vegetable garden and supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East AfricaIndia, and the Far East.   Jan van Riebeeck's arrival on the 6th of April, 1652 established the VOC Cape Colony, the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. 

Cape Town outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. In 1910, Britain established the Union of South Africa.  Cape Town became the legislative capital of the Union, and later of the Republic of South Africa.

Prior to the mid-twentieth century, Cape Town was one of the most racially integrated cities in South Africa.  In the 1948 national elections, the National Party won on a platform of apartheid (racial segregation) under the slogan of "swart gevaar" (Afrikaans for "black danger").  This led to the Group Areas Act, which classified all areas according to race.  Formerly multi-racial suburbs of Cape Town were either purged of residents deemed unlawful by apartheid legislation or demolished.  The most infamous example of this in Cape Town was District Six.  After it was declared a whites-only region in 1965, all housing there was demolished and over 60,000 residents were forcibly removed.

Many of these residents were relocated to the Cape Flats.  Under apartheid, the Cape was considered a "Coloured labour preference area", to the exclusion of "Bantus", i.e. Africans.  The implementation of this policy was widely opposed by trade unions, civil society and opposition parties.

Cape Town was home to many leaders of the anti-apartheid movement. On Robben Island, a former penitentiary island 10 kilometres from the city, many famous political prisoners were held for years.  It was a hard labour camp but also in a sense, a university.

Nelson Mandela was held here for 18 years  He was later awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace and was elected in 1994 as President of South Africa.

Boat tours now visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Many of the site’s guides are ex-prisoners.

Open this PDF to find out more about South Africa....

Check out the projects the Stephen Lewis Foundation supports in South Africa here!