Soweto - Rich Culture and Heritage in South Africa's Largest Township

South Africa's most prominent township, Soweto, is a place of tremendous contrasts. The area has the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners - Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela - once lived. It is the richest townships in South Africa, but this is also contrasted by some of the most desperate poverty. It is also the most political township and has played a major role in the history of South Africa

Soweto is enormous, stretching as far as the eye can see, with estimates of its populace ranging between three and four million. Like any city of that size, it is divided into a number of different suburbs, with unashamedly middle- and upper-class neighborhoods among them. At first sight, it appears an endless jumble of houses and shacks. Once inside, parts of it have a village feel, especially if you are exploring on foot, and unlike any where else in Johannesburg, Sowetans will often stop to welcome you or to make conversation, no matter what the color of your skin may be.

Most of Soweto's tourist highlights are famous for historical reasons and are physically unimposing. That history, however, is action-packed, not least because here it is told with perspective and context rarely found in the rest of South Africa. For visitors it means an insight not just into a place famous from 1980's news bulletins for funerals and fighting against apartheid, but into a way of life most Westerners have seldom, if ever, encountered.


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