I’ve been wanting to go to Madiba’s house ever since the news of his death broke on Thursday night, but the last few days have been incredibly busy. I considered doing it this morning, but couldn’t make up my mind whether to brave the inclement weather. I wasn’t sure how far we had to walk or how busy it would be, but shortly after the start of the memorial service which we had been watching on TV, I decided that the kids and I should don our raincoats and go to Houghton. Somehow it just felt like the right thing to do today. I also didn’t want to miss the opportunity for my kids to experience history in the most real way possible.
There weren’t many people there when we arrived, but my goodness, there were so many tributes. We put down two little tea light candles and a Protea – but couldn’t light the candles because of the driving rain. We also put down a note that Claire wrote that simply said “RIP Tata”.
Afterwards, I saw someone posting about the waste of money on the rotting flowers that have been left on these suburban pavements for someone else to pick up; that buying a homeless person a meal would be a better way to pay tribute to Mr Mandela. I started second guessing my actions but I still felt like it was the appropriate thing for us to do today. I hope I created a lasting memory for my children in our simple outing.
I was a little disappointed to see all the hawkers en route, selling t-shirts. I guess this is just the nature of people. If there is money to be made…
And speaking of which – there is a video doing the rounds of a flash mob with the Soweto Gospel Choir at a Woolworths store singing Asimbonanga. It’s beautifully sung and very moving, but somehow – the woollies branding just makes it feel a little insincere and icky. A marketing stunt. If you have seen it – what did you think?