Music is Solace in our Adversity

Saturday May 18th, 2019

After a nice morning and after the boys “borrowed” the girl’s bread for breakfast we started our day by getting in the van and heading to Langa, the first township formed in Cape Town.

Seeing Langa was an eye opening experience for us all. Our first stop in the township took us to view painted murals in the area. The walls were  covered with paintings and graffiti, displaying some of the culturally significant scenes of the area. Among the scenes were murals with themes of music, love, sports, and community.

Next, we were surprised with a Djembe drumming class at the Guga S’thebe community center. The session was very powerful because we got to both witness and play some beats, learn some traditional styles of music with different instruments, and got to sing in Xhosa. Tiffanie and Jason both volunteered to play mallet instruments while the rest of the group played the drums and sang in a traditional call and response form. It was a BLAST!

Our next surprise featured a trip to Brenda Fassie’s birth place. Once there we met her brother Temba. He was a comical character who told us about his time touring with his sister. The walls of the house were covered with her platinum albums. After talking with us for some time Temba played a rendition of a song written by Abdul Ibrahim. Since we were on a tight schedule we had to move onto our next location.

Music was the theme of the day. Next we stopped at the home of a local jazz musician for a backyard concert with a jazz quartet. They sang in both Xhosa and English and made it an energetic environment filled with dancing and singing. Half way through, the last band member came in and started to sing and play his clarinet. When the time came to depart we all hugged and said our goodbyes to each of the band members.

By this point we were all a little hungry so we stopped in the Gugulethu township for lunch. Our destination was Mzoli’s Meat and Grill. It was a live and hopping world renown restaurant, even Hollywood A-listers have been in for a meal. When the food came out it came in a four foot diameter metal bowl full with barbeque chicken, sausage, and T-bone steak family style.

We spent the night in Khayelitsha township. Khayelitsha is the second largest township in the country. This area reminded us of home, suburban living at its best. The rooms were large, which seemed to undermine the common stereotypes of townships in general. We were gated in for the night and we were safe and sound f.

Love Bryn, Jontai, and Nathan!

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