It’s called the Midlands Meander, and I was doing just that a couple of weeks ago – meandering through the valleys and hills of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, where quaint villages lie cheek by jowl with historic battle sites.
Nelson Mandela is not just a South African icon, but an international hero. His remarkable story and his incredible nature have made him one of the most inspirational leaders in the world. The sacrifices he, and many other great South Africans, made have helped to shape this beautiful country into what it is today.
The last time I was here, some years ago now, it was just an insignificant, dusty little plaque beside the road. Today, a powerful and poignant memorial marks the site where Nelson Mandela was arrested by armed apartheid police on August 5, 1962.
When in the Eastern Cape, it’s worth taking the time to join a group visit to a traditional homestead to see how the Xhosa people live today, and also possibly to meet a traditional healer, or igqirha.
The silence around me isn’t a strict silence. It’s an inclusive and forgiving silence, the kind that can accommodate the soft sighing of 1 000 lanterns, the gentle swishing of a calligraphy pen or the muted patter of bare feet. It’s the kind of silence that moves with the cooing of the doves in the rafters, makes way for whispered prayers and embraces the sounds you make as you try to imitate it. It’s a silence scented with incense, suffused with golden light and radiating calm warmth.
Churchill’s South Africa, by South African journalist and historian Chris Schoeman, is a riveting account of Winston Churchill’s time in South Africa and the story of how the young Winston Churchill became a hero to the British public.
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