An oral history
An oral history
Scott Dunlop

What a mad weekend. I was able to attend two different experiences thanks to a friend who invited me. They were on opposite ends of the social spectrum but important for that very reason. One was a township tour and the other an exclusive wine tasting event at an upmarket winery.

I was apprehensive about the township tour as I didn’t feel too comfortable with the concept of “poverty tourism”, gawking at people while they went about their business, but it wasn’t like that at all. It was a rich, wonderful experience as the local guides took us around and explained that the tours are there to help improve life in the township. There was such vibrancy, and it felt like a celebration of life as we chatted to the locals and interacted with businesses. 

As the oldest township in SA, there was plenty of historical information about life during The Struggle, but the tour was also about a community seeking to build itself up.

The wine estate experience was dramatically different. Breathtakingly beautiful, and, again, full of history. In 24 hours I went from eating sheep’s head in the street to steak in a stunning restaurant.

A fitting experience as a warm-up to Heritage Day: acknowledging history and the role of those who are no longer with us but also by being aware that there’s great beauty here for all to enjoy. A land of contrasts which ultimately belongs to our children who will inherit it.

It’s difficult to explain the concepts of history to kids. The context in which the stories took place is somewhat lost, but talking about what went before us helps kids to understand what their heritage is.

There’s something to be said for walking around your own neighbourhood or town. Being out of the car and on foot gives you a different perspective. You’ll probably find that it provides a great chance to have conversations with your children, too.

My kids love hearing about the relatives they never see and the ones who have passed on. It gives them a sense of who they are. 

Why not tell us what you most love about being South African. Send us an email to and you could win a R250 voucher!

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