Monday, October 24, 2005

2 worlds in one city

i'm sitting here in melville, the 'safest' suburb of jo'burg (aka jozi) writing this. i've got 10 minutes left on my internet time, so this may be short. anyway, i'm in a nice cafe overlooking the street in my nice pants and dress shirt, about to go meet with gallo and hopefully get them on board (finally). i'm a short walk from this nice little guest house i'm staying at where i have a small neat single room with breakfast for just about $60/night. and for the past 2 days, i've been haning out in Soweto. the south western township. THE soweto. soweto is about 20 -30 minutes drive from here, but a totally different world. it feels like the poorer parts of africa i've been in, whereas melville could be a neighborhood in california anywhere. little shops, galleries, cafes etc etc. whereas soweto is, well soweto. saturday, i got a tour of the township along with a few of the guys with the artist k'naan's group. hempza and his friend karrabo took us around. hempza is the lead organizer of this neighborhood group called "black sunday". basically, the tour was short, but we got to see the houses selling for over $350,000 in the neighborhood, hector peterson square (where the student uprising in 1976 started), the squatter camps where folks live in structures of 4 tin walls and a roof about 8x8 foot in size. and we also got to see black sunday's headquarters. (i'll get to what they do in a sec.)
yesterday, i took a public taxi (the sotrama of s.a. - vans outfitted to seat 10-15 people.) downtown, met up with hempza and his mom and took another taxi like that into soweto. then we went to hempza's house and started setting up for black sunday.
black sunday is a weekly event held on sundays in the townships around here that showcase the hip hop scene. djs, mcs, bboys, grafcats, etc all get together and it is basically an open mic, with new guys getting a break, established folks honing their acts, and famous guys dropping in. yesterday, a bunch of the acts that were at the global hip hop summit (which i was at on thursday, friday and it was pretty good - more about that later), were also at black sunday.
so, k'naan, postive black soul, emmanuel jah, gidigidi majimaji, and many others were there. tight! i've got some nice video, so i hope it makes it back and i can show you.
i've got to run now, so much love to all.
p.s. if anyone wants a "black sunday academy, soweto" t-shirt, let me know.

1 comment:

James said...

Yes, get me a large t-shirt! :-)

Sounds like get into the real scene.