I recently had the awesome chance to go on a full-day Soweto tour with MoAfrika Tours and it was such an awesome experience. I mean what better way is there to celebrate the creeping in of warm weather and spring than by planning a good day out with the family? From the rich cultural and political history narrated through the knowledgable guide, to the delicious feast we had at the popular hangout spot Chaf Pozi, it was a day to remember. There was a sombre moment as we made our way through the walls of the Apartheid museum, but it’s all part of discovering why Soweto (and South Africa) is what it is today.
The FNB stadium- Soccer City
FNB stadium, sometimes called Soccer City or The Calabash, is an iconic stadium located in Nasrec, just on the border of Soweto. It was designed as the main association stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup (and also where the final was played by the Netherlands and Spain) and is the largest stadium in Africa with a capacity of 94 736. It is affectionately called ‘The Calabash’ due to its resemblance of the African pot. Here’s another fact our MoAfrika Tours guide shared with us, not only was it where former president Nelson Mandela’s memorial service was held on Dec 10, 2013; but it was also where Madiba had his first speech in Johannesburg after being released from prison in 1990.
Motsoaledi Informal Settlement and Apartheid Museum
We then headed to an informal settlement called Elias Motsoaledi. You’re taken through the streets to see how the friendly locals live and chat to them about their lives and everyday struggles. It really does put into perspective how blessed we are, but also how we can help our fellow man out of the dire situations and living conditions they mind find themselves in.
After the walk through the streets and visiting a nearby cretche, we had a chance to visit the Apartheid Museum and Hector Peterson memorial. These two places are home to sad reminders of our history, but leave one feeling hopeful for the people of South Africa as we work on healing ourselves and building a country we can all be proud of.
Vilakazi Street and Chaf Pozi Traditional Braai Lunch:
One can’t leave a Soweto tour without checking out the vibey streets, and none is more popular than Vilakazi Street. Home to the late former present, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who still resides there with his wife Leah, this street epitomizes the lively culture that Soweto is known for. It is complete with dozens of hawkers selling everything from earrings and bangles to bags and clothing. There’s music in the air from nearby drinking holes to traditional dancers on the street just waiting to impress you. Either way, there’s something for everyone. Just set a budget for yourself and stick to it, otherwise, you might just leave with one of everything!
We finally unwinded over a local buffet lunch at Chaf Pozi, a traditional food spot. It is adjacent to the Soweto Cooling Tours where daredevils can bungee jump to their heart’s content. I think once I’ve popped I might just give it a go. Just know that you don’t have to wait for Heritage Day to have a lekker braai (barbeque), so if you find yourself in Soweto and in need of some grub, look no further. We had an amazing time overall and would definitely do it again!
You can book your Mo Afrika Soweto Tour visit through their site here.