I’ve been needing a bit of a break from the usual work slog. I have moved three cities in just over a year and a half. Yes, THREE.
In that period – I had a three week break that was more a job-hunt than an actual holiday. Now, I’m not complaining because being employed is a whole lot better than unemployment ( but that’s another blog post). Needless to say, when the opportunity arose to help assist my godmother (who is a filmmaker – check out her films here) on a trip to Johannesburg I was entirely ready for a break.
I was only here for two weeks but my summation lies ahead:
- So Dry You Can Drink It
So, the first thing I noticed was how undeniably DRY AND HOT it was. Not complaining but the altitude was a vast adjustment. My tan did not suffer though, and every night was warm and balmy. Beautiful.
- Gritty City
Okay, no shade but I fully comprehended why people gasp at the sheer beauty of the Mother City (racism, structural inequalities and colonial history aside – for now). I live in a visually pleasing city. Johannesburg is not a stunner, but it certainly has a different air about it. The upbeat pace of the city was something I came to admire.
- You Talkin’ To Me?
People just casually spoke to me without a trace of sarcasm or an expertly timed eyeroll. The City of Gold was hella friendly to me. A far cry from what I’d become accustomed to back in iKapa, where someone greeting you in public would elicit surprise. In fact, I was shocked when someone spoke to me in a lift. Like wut?
- Ridin’ Dirty
However, one thing I couldn’t get used to – was all the driving around. I couldn’t navigate the city the way I wanted to and it made me a bit frustrated. Next time, I’d like to be more familiar with getting around and seeing beyond the CBD.
But mainly, the highlight of the trip was interacting with a NGO called Iranti, which focuses on giving a voice and face to Queer Activism in our country. The organisation uses the medium of visual media to raise awareness about issues facing the queer community from gender, identities and sexuality. I was privileged enough to sit in and learn more about the visual media training being planned to help empower people to tell their own stories. I was entirely blown away at the opportunity and learnt so much.
Most of all, I finally decided to get my butt into gear and move up to Jo’burg in 2016