It seems like the tour of Mandragora Circo would continue in Africa. From Morocco, at the northern end of the continent, we travel to the south end and landed in Cape Town, South Africa.
At the beginning we arrived to present shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg, but on the way appeared more things that made us stay for a total of 3 months in the country.
In Cape Town we met with Carol and Roy, who received us at the airport in a Citroen DS from the 70s in which the following days we traveled together knowing small cities and towns around Cape Town. To the side of the mountain and to the sea side. On trips we went even to one of the southernmost points of the continent, the Cape of Good Hope, where years ago Portuguese sailors discovered that passing that point could continue sailing to India.
The city is to the sides of Table Mountain, a strange geological formation shaped table appears to be even more ancient than the Andes Mountains. It is also a national park that can be visited and from above the whole city looks.
Starting the presentations of Mandragora Circus in South Africa we performed in Cape Town, in a theater in the city center. The audience, mostly adults, enjoy the show and we returned to program more presentations.
Following the tour in the country we traveled to Johannesburg, Joburg, as the locals say. There Princess with all her team from The Plata4orm received us and organized a lot of activities. We were staying in the city of Pretoria and every day traveled an hour by train to get to Joburg.
One of the shows we present was in the township of Alexandra, a great neighborhood northeast of Joburg. The presentation was outdoors, in the parking lot of the neighborhood that afternoon turned into theater. With a stage, curtains, sound. Children, youth and adults enjoyed the performance, even those who watched from the windows and balconies of their houses.
Other shows were in Newtown, in downtown Joburg and also one in Pretoria, the capital.
It is impossible to speak of South Africa without mention the Apartheid or naming Mandela. Although racism stayed behind there are still consequences of those times of discrimination.
During the days in Joburg we went to visit the legendary district of Soweto, famous as the neighborhood where in times of Apartheid the black population were transfer to live there by the government. Thousands of people were living in this area in precarious conditions, after being stripped of their home.
In 1976 a movement of students from Soweto started to protest in the streets of the neighborhood against a law with which they wanted to implement that education was in Afrikaans, which is a language of the colonial era, derived from Dutch, which is the mother tongue of whites in the country. During the protests the police repressed killing young students. This caused a great revolution and the fact that is remembered in a museum in the township of Soweto, is considered as the beginning of the movements led to the end of Apartheid in 1994.
From Joburg we traveled east of the country to visit the Kruger National Park, where is possible to see a lot the animals. During the days in the park we woke up at dawn and driving touring the park in search of animals. You never know where they may be so is a matter of going looking attentively. We find herds of elephants, zebras, buffalo and giraffes. Lots of elk and deer different. Hyenas, leopards and lions. In addition to monkeys, wild cats, rhinos, hippos and crocodiles.
Continuing the tour, we returned to Cape Town to present more shows at the same theater where we had been. Then we traveled to Grahamstown, a small town where we participated in a Festival of Theatre.
In addition to closing the festival with a show of Mandragora Circus, in Grahamstown we met Gareth, a musician who took us to the marimbas and kalimbas´s factory. To our surprise we found that in this little village traditional African instruments that export all over the world are manufactured. Not only that but also is there “The International Library of African Music” with the largest collection of instruments and recordings of traditional music from all over Africa.
Gareth introduced us to Julian, an Argentine who lives South Africa since some years, we spent share an afternoon taking about travels and drinking “mates”.
We returned to Pretoria and perform the last show there, at the university, where young people, mostly theatre students enjoyed Mandragora Circus.
Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. Taking advantage there are most of the embassies of other African countries, we spent some days processing visas and organizing ourselves to continue the tour discovering Africa.