Day 5 - Kennard really wanted to go to a traditional village, to gain inspiration for his art work by speaking to the Ndebele women of South Africa. Kennard is extremely creative and he is a master artist who creates clay busts and sculptures of the real, unique, and shapely figures of African women. So we were on a journey to find these Ndebele women, and today we found them, they are located less than one hour from Johannesburg. We also were able to go to a Zulu, Pedi, and Xhosa village. One of the Xhosa tribe's most well known figure is the late, Nelson Mandela and from the Zulu tribe is Shaka Zulu. I must say that this visit made us really feel connected to our roots and all the greatness that truly lies in Africa, which has absolutely nothing to do with material possessions.
Africa's greatness is not found in its paved roads, the tallest building in Africa (which is in Johannesburg), an impressive convention center (another Joberg attraction), the Mall of Africa (which was just built last month), or the number of Western businesses that it attracts, like McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks, Claire's, Guess, and Nine West, etc, but is instead found in its elaborate and vivid cultural systems. This is what makes Africa rich and what makes it stand out from the United States and all other continents in the world.
In fact, even though most people in South Africa speak English, there are 11 official languages of South Africa. So oftentimes the Africans speak about 11 languages and the common language for Black people to speak in is Zulu. If you are a Black person living in South Africa, some of the Black South Africans will expect you to know how to speak this language. This is the kind of pride and esteem that comes with knowing your history and culture. The fact that most Black people speak in Zulu, an African language, is something that can only be experienced in the Southern part of Africa. So you can't experience this in the United States or in Britain. However, it is oftentimes the qualities that are your greatest, which are the ones that are most difficult to see.
One very wise man, my late Uncle Ken Sampson said, "You can climb up the ladder and reach the top, but you discover you are on the wrong side of the building, so you have to come down, go around, and start all over again." Hopefully, Africans in Africa and those in the Diaspora will uphold African culture with the highest esteem, because that's what really makes Africa oh so special!
Tiffany & Kennard, 2016