Tuk Tuk Tour Around Soweto
We spent an entire day in Soweto and the highlight was the 2.5 hour Tuk Tuk tour we took around the back streets of the Soweto townships.
Our guides were 2 young local men from Soweto who told us what it is to really like to live and grow up in Soweto. We drove from neighbourhood to neighbourhood with a number of stops to get out and hear about the township we were in, see the different styles of housing and speak to the locals living there. We even had an impromptu sing along to “when the lion sleeps tonight” which was originally written in Zulu.
The name Soweto is an acronym of Southwest Township, which is the area of Johannesburg that used to segregate their people. Our guides told us that the younger generation now think of Soweto as ‘So We Too’. They said this implies togetherness and community, and this is what I felt when we explored Soweto. Even though the living conditions and the history of Soweto were confronting and heartbreaking, you really feel the strong sense of community here and the love that our guides have for Soweto. They said they could never leave.
They just want change and they need their government to help them. People should not be living in these conditions in 2020.
We visited one township which had rows and rows of housing built in 1995 for the Rugby World cup and the locals were promised this would become available to them after the games. Today all of those houses still remain empty and even have paid security daily to stop anyone from breaking in. That is 25 years that no one has lived here, and they are in plain view of people living in sheds with no plumbing who are being forced to burn their rubbish in the streets because the garbage collection only occurs once a month, if that.
There is so much to see and learn in Soweto, whether you explore on bike, Tuk Tuk or on foot, the best way to visit is to have a great guide.
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