DAY 20: ‘Masambe si yo phuza’

5 reasons why today was one of the most interesting days in the 20 days I have been in Yeoville

5) Only four people showed up to a wedding (this is sensationalised a tad -not really four but they were very few nonetheless-)

The Father who runs the Catholic church in Yeoville invited us to the wedding that he was officiating. It was an invitation to a wedding and we have an hour to spare before we had to conduct our next set of interviews so we accepted the invitation.

We were just in time for the wedding and I expected all of the things that one would find at most weddings. I thought I would elaborate bridal party with wonderful decorations, fresh flowers and rose petals lining the red carpet all the way to the alter. Instead the church had a few balloons on the edges of some of the pews. They were pink, white and gold and I’m sure I saw an orange one. Instead of rose petals on the red carpet there were pieces of purple tissue paper (crafty, I suppose). There were no fresh flowers, just fake, unappealing ones. There were less than 20 people in the church for the ceremony. It was not festive.

The church choir was nice though…

Lesson learned: I will not get married until I can afford the best wedding.

4) Old, dead ideas coming back to life

When this in-depth project began one of my classmates and I had the idea that we were going to document sangomas from different countries that live in Yeoville and also look into their clientele as well as the kind of services they provide. For my friend the idea came to nothing because we could not find any sangomas or traditional healers in Yeoville and people were not to keen to lead us in the right direction. For me, who happens to be indecisive I just became drawn to the Rastafari community in Yeoville.

Today at Rsata House we were introduced to a sangoma. Head was so interesting and was willing to talk to us about anything and show us everything there is to show about his calling. Three days before the deadline. Funny how things unfold.

3) Getting hit on, in the Rastafari church.

During the praise and worship session at church today one of the elders approached me while I was taking photos and greeted me. He told me I was beautiful and that my looks caught his eyes.

Flattered as I was, I wandered if church was the place to court young ladies… He continued to offer me a ride home after church. He told me it would be a good time to talk more about Rastafari. Yes of course, that was what he wanted to talk more to me about.

2) A man killed people for fun while he was in a cult in Nigeria.

It is always good meet new people. They always have fascinating stories to share about their lives. Whether these stories turn out to be true or just a wonderful creation by the mind they are interesting to listen to. While I was taking photos for my project, a man who we met a few weeks back offered to keep my classmate company. When I got back he was gone but he had left behind a chilling story about how he was a killer when he was back in Nigeria. He told my classmate that he he a great deal of blood on his hands because he had murdered so many people for fun. He has since moved to South Africa and has given his life to God.

I don’t know if this was just an elaborate conception of his mind to drive a conversation or if it was true. Either way, if that was my past I do not think it is something I would freely talk about. Its just plain terrifying.

1) ‘Masambe si yo phuza’

Let’s go out and have some drinks. This was the suggestion that was made by the taxi driver who drove us back from Yeoville earlier today. The taxi was empty and I suppose that gave him the confidence to make the proposition. Of course I declined but not without pausing and thinking how nice it would be to take some time off in-depth and do something social.

I must be honest though, I did think to myself that my mother would not be too impressed to know that I went out for drinks with a taxi driver. These are the kind of people she refers to as disrespectful human beings with no consideration of anyone. These are the men, and sometimes women she swears at on the road, and my mother doesn’t swear.

The driver asked for my number to arrange another date. He persuaded me. Minutes later I got a call from him saying we was still outside the Wits Arts Museum and was wondering if I had changed my mind. I hadn’t.

Today was truly one of those days that the challenges we have faced in this in-depth journey have been worth it. “This isn’t the final stretch, this is just the start” in my journey to becoming a good journalist and I look forward to more amazing experiences.

 

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