Amid relentless front-page reports about the most intimate details of crimes committed in the bedrooms of families and the unyielding accounts of the lust for power that has begun to unravel the exterior facade of calm normally manufactured by the ruling party, an alien visiting South Africa could easily conclude that there was nothing else happening in this beautiful country.
When I turned 50 the other day, I found myself reflecting on the wonderful ways in which I had been blessed and on what I wanted to do in the next 50 years. So, with the holidays in mind, I thought I would share with readers 20 things to do before you die, which will change your life forever.
Do not die until you have had black coffee and homemade oven bread with dried fish in a fisherman’s cottage in Paternoster.
Do not die until you have looked through God’s Window in Mpuma- langa and seen the shadows of the divine in the rainy mist. [Done that]
Do not die until you have had Maltabella and sterimilk in a Port Elizabeth township.
Do not die until you have visited the Apartheid Museum and the Voortrekker Monument on the same day, for you will never again think of ethnic nationalism in the same way.
Do not die until you have joined the crowds pulling in nets, moaning under the weight of sardines on the Durban beaches. [Done that]
Do not die until you have talked to the disabled guy with the bright yellow vest who mans the robots across from Unisa and, with his shrill whistle, ensures that there is a smooth flow of traffic at this busy Pretoria intersection.
Do not die until you have climbed the majestic Drakensberg mountains. [Done that]
Do not die until you have taken a stroll along Fish Hoek beach at 6am and watched the sun rise and spread its rays across the calm waters surrounding this most beautiful beach in the whole world. [Done that, but might not have been 6am]
Do not die until you have met the Queen Mother of the Bafokeng to experience the gentle humanity of the African spirit embodied in this gracious person (she also has the best recipe for baked bread ever).
Do not die until you have sat in the Blue Bulls stadium at Loftus Versfeld, where you will discover a slice of South African culture that, despite your best endeavours, will have you humming Liefling with the partisan crowd (it will also help answer the question about where all the whites went after 1994). [The Cheetahs guy]
Do not die until you have visited Mbilwi High School in rural Limpopo, where black learners achieve full marks in matriculation mathematics and physical science.
Do not die until you have attended (or attempted to attend) a service of the Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk. [Done that...NG you mean?]
Do not die until you have walked through the Mkhonto section of Nyanga township.
Do not die until you have spent a day and a night without food and water. [Done that]
Do not die until you have looked across the Valley of a Thousand Hills just before sunset. [Good one]
Do not die until you have had coffee with Leon Wessels.
Do not die until you have eaten apricots on a Montagu farm.
Do not die until you have hiked the Magoebaskloof Mountains.
Do not die until you have read the front page of Die Son. [Ummm...bad one...done that...'Bloem is vrot van die drugs'.]
Do not die until you have stood and stood in a home affairs queue in central Pretoria.
Do not die until you have had tea with South Africa’s teacher, Dr TW Kambule (in fact, get to him before he dies).
Do not die until you have had fish and chips in the Hout Bay harbour. [Done that. Kalk Bay is also good.]
Do not die until you have witnessed the operations of rural commerce, legal and illegal, in the main street of Beaufort West during December. [Done that]
Do not die until you have eaten a Bo-Kaap koeksuster. [Really? I used to park there almost every day when I studied at AAA]
Do not die until you have declared yourself available to run as president of South Africa; do this one last, for it might very well be the last thing you do before you die.
From The Times.co.za by Jonathan Jansen
NVDL: This dude has a fetish for the Cape. Can't say I blame him.