Thursday, March 12, 2009
African National Congress Rally in a township
We went to an ANC rally in a township called Khayelitsha, one of the largest informal settlements in Cape Town. It's pretty much many square miles of shacks like the ones in these photos where millions of people live without running water and other basic services. The crime, drug/alchohol use, abuse, violence is also abundantly present for the (literally) millions of people that live here.
The ANC is the political organization that Nelson Mandela was a part of and that was responsible for ending Apartheid. This rally was for the presidental candidate Jacob Zuma (called Jay Zee, ha ha). He's a less than savory character to say the least but since I'm still here maybe I'll withhold any critique till I get back home. He's the guy on the T-shirts (which is a big draw for people living in destitute.)
The rally itself was amazing. The road leading to the stadium was lined with people singing and cheering the buses and cars going through. We were some of the only white people. While walking to the rally, someone said, "you are welcome here comrades." There are white supporters of the ANC and even some that hold positions. People were very welcoming of us and even did some translating when some of the talks were in Xhosa or Afrikans.
I can't wait to share some videos I took of the singing and dancing, it's unlike any political rally I've ever been to. It also felt like a very African experience.
It's also a little sad too, because all of these people from the township put so much energy and emotion into this political party that has let them down very badly and continues to do so. If this energy could be channeled into something more productive the people would be much better off.