After some online research we booked a private half-day tour with Mandy. Even though it was the most expensive tourist attraction we had done during our intense weeklong visit to the country it was by far the most enriching one.
In the morning, Mandy patiently waited for us (we reached the Gautrain station almost one hour late) and took us in her car to the townships. Already on the way there we had an open and sincere conversation with Mandy about our life, goals, dreams, relationships... She amazed us with incredible accurate readings and greatly valuable feedback. First, we were driven around various areas of Soweto, listening to stories about various linked to the Apartheid events. Afterwords we reached Kliptown, where we went for a short walk to see the main monument and the market square. Then Mandy left us in the hands of a local who took us inside his community, there we could see how only with a few water taps and no electricity three thousand people could live cramped into an area of a few hundred square meters.
At that time of the tour we have already realised what an incredible personality Mandy was and how much work she has done for the communities of Soweto. The really nice man who took us around was actually rescued and then taken care by her when he was orphaned at the age of eleven. The most unique experience however was when Mandy drove us to Hector Pieterson Museum and shared with us her personal stories about how she took part in the protests, was multiple times shot and detained throughout the years of her youth.
In the end we went through a short tour through Mandela's house, where we were again impressed by Mandy and her strong reaction to the fact that the majority of the guides there were white and not from Soweto (while around the building so many locals are struggling to find a job).
The whole experience was incredible, we would have never understood the past and current complex situation of Soweto, if we would have gone for a simple group tour. We are very thankful to Imbizo Tours for giving us this amazing experience! Even though the tour lasted only 5 hours we still remain in touch with Mandy, sharing our thoughts and experiences by email.
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