Cape Town Diaries: Sindiwe Magona and Table Mountain

July 16, 2013
The Ashland University students had to read a book for their South African literature class called Mother to Mother by Sindiwe Magona.  As a part of their study tour program, the Ashland professor arranged for Sindiwe Magona to come and speak to them about her book and other work.  Our group was also invited to attend since we knew of Sindiwe's work for children, such as the picture book called The Best Meal Ever.  The way Sindiwe described Mother to Mother made it sound so incredibly interesting that I immediately wanted to run and pick up a copy.  Have you ever heard of Amy Biehl?  Before my trip to South Africa, I hadn't either.  Amy was a white American student studying abroad in Cape Town who was against Apartheid.  One night a black friend of hers asked her for a ride home, so she drove into Guguletu to  drop off her friend, which, at the time was illegal because by law Amy was not allowed to go into a black township.  When Amy arrived, she was met with an angry crowd who was upset with the government.  The mob assumed that Amy was a white South African and had no idea that she was anti-Apartheid.  Amy was stabbed and stoned to death by four members of the crowd.  Sindiwe was friends with the mother of one of the murderers, and she began to think that this case was not just a simple murder.  Instead, this needed to be examined much closer. When she spoke to us, she said, "All South Africans killed Amy Biehl," not just the four black boys who actually did it.  She knew that this was a sensitive topic, but felt that she wanted readers to look beyond the surface.  Ashland's professor told us that one of his students started to read the book and complained to him saying that he didn't know if he could continue reading a book that seemed to support the murderers, but he encouraged this student to keep on reading.  One of the murderers died of natural causes, but the three that remained were acquitted, which is what Amy's family wanted.  I heard that at least one of the murderers was adopted by the Biehl's, and that Amy's family believes that Amy would have wanted this.  I haven't had a chance to pick up a copy of Mother to Mother yet, but you can bet that it is on my must read list because the main character of the book is the mother of one of the boys.  She explains the situation more in depth, and directs her explanation towards Amy's mother.


For lunch we stopped at a cafe called Melissa's at the V&A Waterfront.  Everything was black and white in there and it was so cute!!  They had a bunch of food prepared, and you could take what you wanted.  It was sort of like a buffet except that they weighed it at the end. 



Our next stop for the day was going up Table Mountain.  We did so in the rotating cable car.  It tripped me out a little bit.  I thought the whole cable car was going to slowly rotate, but only the floor did!  I'm kind of afraid of heights and like to have something to hold on to when we are going up high, but while we were ascending, they told us not to hold onto anything.  The rest of this post is probably just going to be in pictures because all we really did up there was take in the views!!  Cape Town really is such a gorgeous place...I loved taking in the view of the whole city.  We did spot some dassies, too.  They are the little brown creatures that are closely related to elephants, even though they don't look like the would be at all.  Watch out for some in the pics below.















These flowers are called proteas, and they are the national flower of South Africa.  I had to look up what the national flower was of the United States because I had no clue.  In case you were wondering, it's the rose.



At night we had dinner at Mama Africa on Long Street.  They have a wide variety of different types of meat on their menu like crocodile, kudu, springbok, and ostrich.  I passed on those and ordered the vegetarian bake.  It's not that I'm not adventurous...I just am picky and get weird when it comes to meat.


Why is or isn't Cape Town on your travel bucket list?


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9 comments on "Cape Town Diaries: Sindiwe Magona and Table Mountain"
  1. Mother to mother definitely sounds a touching story . I would have to google about it perhaps!
    Noor @ Noor's Place

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    1. I can't wait to read it. She made it sound amazing!

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  2. Wow those pictures are pretty! I don't know if I would do the cable car...well I probably would but I am not comfortable with the thought of plummeting lol. It might have been perfectly safe but I would have been nervous. Looks like you guys are having fun and doing amazing things.

    http://diaryofatrendaholic.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Yeah, at some points I just stared at the ground rather than out the window!

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  3. wow amazing photos - though that cable car does look a little scary. and that book and the case it's about sound so crazy and interesting. will have to look for it!
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

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    1. I wish I would have had the book already so she could have autographed it! I know they have some on Amazon, but I'm going to check the local library, too.

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  4. This book sounds ah-mazing! The story touches the heart. I'll try to find one copy!
    PS: The cable car looks, danger?
    Areeba Aree With Umbrella

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    1. I hope the story is as good as she made it sound, but many of the Ashland students told me that it was their favorite book from their literature course, so I have high hopes for it.

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