Masiphumelele – A Jewel Before Our Eyes

Hi All, apologies for the age since my last post, but what better than to return by sharing with you the most heart-warming and uplifting day I had yesterday. Together with a dear friend, I had the pleasure of being taken to the Cape Town township of Masiphumelele by my great friends Bongani and Lunga Makunga. Despite being somewhat nervous, we were greeted by its people with smiles and friendship wherever we went. It is true that, in an area of such poverty, to be taken there by two such well-known and popular residents does make things much smoother, and, under different circumstances, one might need to be more cautious. In fact, there are other townships in the region that, for the likes of us, are sadly but most-definitely to be avoided. Yet Masi greeted us with the warmest of smiles, and what better gift can you give to a stranger? It seems too easy for the media to paint all townships with the same brush of woe. But Masi is not like that. The atmosphere was relaxed and open-armed, and inspite of the poverty and lack of opportunity clearly endured on a daily basis, the people live their lives with that smile, and an indomitable self-respect and fortitude to get-on-with and enjoy their lives. And, being stripped of so many of the material items that often cloud values and claim such false-importance, Masi is free to continue each day with a defiantly strong sense of community and togetherness. In fact, it is from the very fact of being deprived of so many of these ‘material items’ that the wonderful core values of family and friendship have come to flourish. Masiphumelele means ‘We will succeed!’ and its people are not-only a wonderful breath of fresh air, they are also a huge inspiration! Thank you Masi! Viva Masi! You’re the best! To end, here are the photos I took, which can’t do justice to one of the most amazing and heart-warming places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. And thank you so much Bongani and Lunga. You guys rock!

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