Day 14 - South Africa is supposed to be a developing nation, but some things we've experienced here we have never experienced before in America, a developed nation. There is a kindness that encapsulates most people, and the unfettered core qualities of the people here are absolutely profound: void of jealousy and individuality and overflowing with love, commitment, support, and a selflessness that goes beyond belief. We are baffled at the pure nature of the people, reminiscence of a child who has not yet become gruntled by a harsh society. They have displayed values that must have persisted throughout time, from one generation to the next.
I always knew that people like this must exist in abundance somewhere in the world, and I have found these people in South Africa. Life in Africa is beautiful.
Tiffany & Kennard
Day 13 - We feel like we are on top of the world because coming to South Africa is showing us just how connected this world really is, so it is as if we are viewing the world at a distance from a microscope. Not only are the American music, movies, and businesses in high demand, but also even an American Actress Tarji P. Henson and Actor Terrance Howard are here visiting South Africa promoting the FOX series Empire. The British/American Actor Idris Elba, is in South Africa filming the Steven King movie that he's in called, "The Dark Tower." American Singer Regina Bell is coming later this month and Nicki Minaj visited Africa for the first time after coming to South Africa in May.
Further, the passing of the American boxing legend Muhammad Ali on June 3rd, was covered extensively by local South African radio and television stations. He resonates with the South Africans who truly honor Nelson Mandela, along with the world, because he too was a boxer and an icon, constantly fighting for human rights just like Mohammad Ali. The American government took away Ali's title and they tried to take away his livelihood, but like Nelson Mandela's story, justice prevailed. So the connections between Africa and America are everywhere, but human rights is a global issue, and all of us must continue to fight for human rights.
So this big world, doesn't seem to be so big after all.
Tiffany & Kennard
Day 11 - There are so many hairstyles among the women of South Africa, that it would leave any woman in a state of wonderment: how in the world did she do that, how can she make the hair swirl like that, how is it that the women have so many creative styles? When we went to Joburg CBD (Central Business District), we got a chance to see how some of the magic happens, right at the African markets in the open; where men and women braid, twist, and manipulate African women's hair! All-the-while, many people were passing, looking for goods to buy at the market. These beauticians were at nearly every corner outside on the sidewalk and inside small shops, that you now see how the women can wear so many elaborate styles because the beauticians are everywhere!
Tiffany & Kennard 2016
Day 7 - At the airport in Washington DC, we noticed that there were a lot of people from diverse places who were lining up to catch the flight to South Africa. Since our arrival in Joburg, we have seen many Africans from various countries across the continent, Indians, Arabs, Europeans, Asians, and of course, we are there too, Americans. So there are many people across the world in South Africa, but why is Africa so popular? This is not what one would expect to see based on the traditional stereotypical way that Africa is portrayed, but in recent news reports, Africa is dubbed as having many of the fastest growing economies.
Meanwhile, we've noticed an influx of many American or multi-national corporations here in Joburg, the center of economic activity in South Africa. Some of these businesses are McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, ShopRite, IBM, Coca Cola, Citi Bank, Apple, Nike, Walmart is here under a different name, Mass Mart, ect. Then when we went into the Mall of Africa, the largest mall in Africa which just opened in April of 2016, many of the stores were also American like Forever 21, Converse, Hush Puppies, Timberland, Claire's, Nine West, Starbucks, Polo, New Balance, and Adidas, etc; there were also businesses from Italy, Germany, France, ect. Apparently, Africa is the place for multinational corporations.
So It's important that we reframe the way we look at the continent, first by undoing many of the stereotypes (propaganda) that we may still believe about Africa, in order to understand the REAL Africa that exists. Plus, is it important for everyone to understand globalization and how Africa fits into our new world economy. As world citizens, it is important to do this, so we can always stand on the right side of history and come to the table as informed people who can make logical, noteworthy, and powerful contributions to the world in which we live in.
Tiffany & Kennard