Soweto is celebrated in the arts because of the passion that exists there, be it in song or on a wall there is a radiant quality about the place. Once you have a basic understanding of the people of the township simple connections take you to the how and why this place was the igniter to the end of apartheid. Today uncle Moss said “When Soweto sneezes, Cape Town gets the flu.” There is a powerful spirit in this place that cannot be suppressed, and thus it is the heart of South Africa.
So, here’s an assignment … go into the township to witness the first World Cup match on African soil, where the home team’s name has become a religious chant – Bafana Bafana. Witness children on parade in yellow and green at 10am, kids painting the streets to celebrate the event, soccer games everywhere, block parties like the fourth of July, vuvazelas making fog horns on a rugged coast sound docile, and a goal that made it South Africa 1 – Mexico 0.
Sure the match ended in a draw, but today was a win for a country and a culture and let the celebration in the streets tonight last a month so that the world can feel the pulse of both the continent and the country. And as for the township … It’s influence as a place is monumental, but maybe “Soweto” can also become an adjective for all of us to share and understand a definition that is difficult to truly explain.