MaxProf Soweto Day

On 26 May 2023, MaxProf employees based at the head office in Pretoria, headed to Soweto for an insightful and cultural experience. Our journey started at Vilakazi Espresso opposite the Hector Pieterson Memorial Site. It is there that we met our tour guide, Tebogo, who narrated South Africa’s apartheid history.

MaxProf at Vilakazi Espresso in Soweto with Tour Guide Tebogo

MaxProf employees infront of Vilakazi Espresso with their tour guide

MaxProf Executive Chairman and COO posing infront of Hector Pieterson street sign

MaxProf Executive Chairman and COO posing infront of Hector Pieterson street sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One particular event which shaped Soweto was the 1976 uprisings against Bantu education during apartheid. Hector Pieterson, who lost his life during the march was famously pictured in a fellow student’s arms, Mr Mbuyiseni Makhubo, alongside his weeping sister, in his last moments. A museum in Soweto has been built in his honour and others who suffered his same fate. We saw the chilling scenes of the massacre, and it made us think of the still prevalent issues with education today, such as #FeesMustFall and more recently issues with reading with comprehension at Grade 4 level.

Picture of Mbuyiseni Makhubo carrying Hector Pieterson's lifeless body to the nearest medical centre, at the Hector Pieterson Memorial Site

Picture of Mbuyiseni Makhubo carrying Hector Pieterson’s lifeless body to the nearest medical centre, at the Hector Pieterson Memorial Site

Story board of where the first shooting from the 1976 Soweto Student Upsrisings

Story board of where the first shooting from the 1976 Soweto Student Upsrisings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soweto is a vital part of South Africa’s history against apartheid. Several of our historical leaders during the struggle for democracy lived in Soweto, leaders such as Nelson and Winne Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and more.

MaxProf employees pictured in front of Nelson Mandela's family home on Vilakazi Street in Orlando

MaxProf employees pictured in front of Nelson Mandela’s family home on Vilakazi Street in Orlando

Plaque declaring Archbishop Desmond Tutu's home a national heritage site

Plaque declaring Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s home a national heritage site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As such, our tour included a walk through the streets of Orlando where we visited Nelson Mandela’s house on Vilakazi Street, surrounded by robust business stalls which sold African regalia and fashion accessories and vibey restaurants such as Sakhumzi which caters traditional African food and has served international tourists. We passed by the Archbishop’s house, and walked down to Mama Winnie Mandela’s 22-room mansion in Dube, Soweto, also called the “Beverley Hills” of Soweto. It is here that Mama Winnie took her last breath, forever close to the people she cared deeply for.

Street sign

MaxProf employees walking through Vilakazi Precinct

MaxProf employees walking through Vilakazi Precinct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then visited the Ubuntu Kraal in Dube Soweto, where we had the opportunity to taste four delicious South African beers, including the coveted Soweto Gold.

Sign of Soweto brewing company at the Ubuntu Kraal in Dube Soweto

Sign of Soweto brewing company at the Ubuntu Kraal in Dube Soweto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then took taxis to Nomzamo Informal Settlement where the tour guide hoped to draw a contrast between the different classes of people that reside in Soweto. In comparison to the “Beverley Hills” locations, Nomzamo was a heartbreakingly impoverished community. The houses made of corrugated iron sheets are erected close to one another, and residents bump electricity off of nearby supplies and obtain water from a community oasis. The toilets are across the street and in the evening, it may be unsafe to go alone. We hope to go back to Nomzamo to contribute to the well-being of the community members.

MaxProf employees listening to community representative render the daily life of a Nomzamo dweller

MaxProf employees listening to community representative render the daily life of a Nomzamo dweller

Nomzamo community members using communal taps

Nomzamo community members using communal taps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our final stop was the Soweto towers, where the Orlando Power Station used to be. The decommissioned coal-fired power station in Soweto, South Africa, served Johannesburg for over 50 years. The towers now serve as an adventure location for bungee jumping, free-falling, and other activities. It is also here that we were met by seTswana traditional dancers, who amazed us all. We dined at Chaf-Pozi for a classic Chesa Nyama lunch. We had braaied meat with pap, seshebo and salads, like true South Africans and enjoyed lovely beverages before returning to Pretoria.

Architectural picture of the Soweto towers and Chaf-Pozi Sign

Architectural picture of the Soweto towers and Chaf-Pozi Sign

Picture of MaxProf employees with Tswana Traditional Dancers at Chaf-Pozi at the Soweto Towers

Picture of MaxProf employees with Tswana Traditional Dancers at Chaf-Pozi at the Soweto Towers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The levelling of playing fields post-apartheid is one issue which MaxProf wishes to address, especially at an educational level. It is the reason why we continue to distribute bursaries and our motivation to remain steadfast in our endeavours. We were inspired by the determination and drive by the students of 1976 to pursue a better education for themselves and we say that the fight is not over.

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