Sunday, February 22, 2009


Soweto is basically the Chicago of South Africa. It's a set of neighborhoods with a total population around 3 million - some neighborhoods fairly well-off, and some abjectly destitute. The latter is more on the living-under-Wacker-Drive level than the living-on-the-South-Side level. Despite the poverty, there is an omnipresent sense of soul and vitality that you don't feel everywhere these days. Our tour guide / minibus driver said that the crime rate is actually pretty low in Soweto because everyone is basically family - even the nice houses don't have the same high walls / barbed wire / etc as the nice houses in the Northern Jo'burg suburbs.

Here are my pics from the tour - I took the close-up-looking ones with a very long lens from inside the van while it was moving, so I didn't get in people's faces with cameras - trying to balance respectfulness and curiosity. Anyway, click on the slideshow to see it in higher quality in a new window.

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