Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shaka ZULU and The Lion King!

This weekend Jasmine and I went on an adventure to explore another side of South Africa. Traveling to Eshowe, we were able to visit many important landmarks, including the home of Noble Peace Prize winner Albert Lutuli, the location of Shaka Zulu's assassination, and Shakaland, where we witnessed powerful traditional Zulu dancing. Jasmine and I were even able to take part in the festivities. We attempted (emphasis on attempted lol) to replicate the forceful moments of the Zulu men and women. It was such a blessing and incredible opportunity to witness the practicing of African traditions in person, especially in their unadulterated forms. In the U.S. we are able to see remnants of African culture in African American culture, especially in church settings, Step Show performances, jazz music, cooking, etc. In Eshowe, the most salient cultural commonality I witnessed was the "call and response" singing of the Zulu performers. An individual would begin a song with a beautifully sung phrase which would then be followed by a collective response from the remaining performers. The constant push and pull from the performers resembles a vocal dance, which is quite moving to hear.
Reading with the wax replica of Albert Lutuli, founder of the African National Congress (ANC). He also worked with Nelson Mandela to end apartheid in South Africa.

Replica of Traditional Zulu Pastoral Homes

We ended the trip with an amazing visit to a wildlife reserve. I felt like I was in the middle of a  Discovery Channel documentary. Seeing all of the animals in their natural habitats was beautiful. We saw a glimpse of a lion, a rhino, elephant, giraffe, wild boars, zebras etc. Needless to say the sights induced  spontaneous reenactments of "Lion King" scenes and performances! Lol 

Overall, the entire experience was a great way to kick off our final week in South Africa! How the time flies. 

Until Next Time,

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