One Afternoon in Soweto

town·ship
/ˈtounˌSHip/
noun
…(in South Africa) a suburb or city of predominantly black occupation, formerly officially designated for black occupation by apartheid legislation.

Soweto, a township southwest of Johannesburg, has seen rapid development since the end of Apartheid in 1994 and while it’s still a very low-income area, it remains incredibly significant in South Africa, both historically and culturally. Nelson Mandela and Trevor Noah are among a few of the names you might recognize from people who spent time there before rising to fame, and it played an important roll in building the resistance that eventually ended Apartheid.

I had a short amount of time in Johannesburg and felt I needed to head down to Soweto to see what it’s all about. I spent an afternoon walking around chatting with people, taking photos, and trying to understand where this place had been, where it is now, and where it’s heading. It’s always a challenge to understand so much historical context from an outsider’s point of view, especially in a short amount of time, but Soweto is a good place to start. It’s vibrant, exciting, the people were friendly, and the braai was one of the best meals I had in South Africa. Photos below: