The “E” of South Africa
Eloquent “E”‘s: Elephant, Eagle, Ellis Park, Egoli, Eland, Eastern Transvaal, English Anthem.
How can I choose anything other than the lovable giant, the African Elephant to begin with.
There is nothing cuddly about them. In the wild they give off an aura somehow of being an archaic relic from the past. We humbly stand and stare as they amble by.
Egoli, ‘place of Gold’, the Zulu name given to Johannesburg by miners. The richness of the texture woven into the short history of this city that rambles over 635 urbanized square miles in size is unique. It rose from the yellow mine dumps growing which ever way, according to the yellow reef set in the rock below the earth, moving east and west. Johannesburg became the place to go, for style, class and nightlife; in the 1960’s Jo’burg was tops, with theatres and live shows to die for. The huge homes in the suburbs were top class, with glittering nightlife and glistening pools. If you hadn’t seen Jo’burg by night, you were so uncool! Today Jo’burg, or Egoli, is the stepping stone to South Africa; right in the middle of South Africa; not far from whatever part you would like to see.
And so to the sports stadium there, Ellis Park, often considered the Springboks fortress, that witnessed the final rugby game in 1995 between South Africa and the All Blacks, which saw SA winning the world cup. This match began with the unusual fly past of a Jumbo Jet which swooped over the crowded stadium bearing a message on the wings of good luck for the Springboks.
A visit to the Eastern Transvaal was always a personal favourite of mine. Leaving your city life, or the daily slog, doing whatever you did to earn your bread and butter; it was like going back in time. The beauty of the bush and wild life was a tonic, where the old gold rush town of Pilgrims Rest nestles amongst the hills. The Mac Mac falls and God’s window are just two of the “must see’s” there.
In my life time spent in SA, I witnessed the singing of many national anthems. School days began with the English National Anthem, which was our anthem at the time; God save the Queen; once we became a republic, we sang Die Stem, The call of South Africa. Today it is Kosi Sekelela that the children learn in school. What changes!
There are 25 languages spoken in South Africa, 11 pf these are official languages. The song I’ve chosen today doesn’t start with an E, but is a song you can hear sung across so many nationalities who live together; it is sung around campfires, in a African villages out in the bush, on a city street and by school choirs, and I love it. This version has pictures too. Shosholoza!
If you would like to catch up on the other letters A and B, here are the links below.