South Africa

Facts, literature, and adventure

About South Africa

South Africa is home to many different people from different cultures. South Africa is the Rainbow Nation of the world and has 11 official languages.South Africa has well developed infrastructure and modern amenities. Cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg,Pretoria, Durban, Knysna, and many other cities in South Africa have the kinds of structures, services, entertainment, restaurants and offerings you would expect to find in American or European cities. Cape Town offers a historical run through the city called the Salve Run. It passes through places like the Castle of Good Hope and District Six. Robben island is located just off the coast of Cape Town. Between the 17th and 20th centuries it served as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups, and a military base. During the apartheid it held Nelson Mandela.The Battlefields Route is a route that takes you through all of the preserved battlefields in South Africa. It is an amazing experience to see where things began and ended.

Dennis Brutus

Dennis Brutus was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, of South African parents. He taught for 14 years in South Africa and participated in many anti-apartheid campaigns, particularly those concerned with sports. The South African government eventually banned him from attending political and social meetings and made it illegal for any of his writings to be published in South Africa. In 1963 he was arrested for attending a sports meeting. When released on bail, he fled to Swaziland and from there he tried to make his way to Germany to meet with the world Olympic executive committee, but the Portuguese secret police at the Mozambique border handed him back to the South African security police. Realizing that no one would know of his capture, he made a desperate attempt to escape, only to be shot in the back on a Johannesburg street. on recovery he was sentenced to 18 months hard labor on Robben Island. His cell was directly beside Nelson Mandela's. When he finished his term in prison, Brutus was permitted ti leave South Africa with his wife and children on an "exit permit", a document which made it illegal for him to return. He lived in London from 1966 to 1970. In 1983 Brutus was granted political asylum in the united States. During the 1970s and 1980s he remained active in a number of anti- apartheid organizations, particularly SANROC (South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee), which led the movement to have South Africa excluded from the Olympic Games because of its discriminatory sports policies. He was also on the staff of the International Defense and Aid Fund. Brutus was famous for his political activities as he was for his poetry.


Nightsong City

Sleep well, my love, sleep well

the harbor lights glaze over restless docks,

police cars cockroach through the tunnel streets;

from the shanties creaking iron-sheets

violence like a bug-infested rag is tossed

and fear is immanent as sound in the wind-swung bell;

the long day’s anger pants from sand and rocks;

but for this breathing night at least,

my land, my love, sleep well.

The poem is almost a love song to South Africa. He has such a strong love for this country and in the poem he talks about the apartheid and what the Blacks of South Africa faced daily. His tone is heartfelt and yearning for his country. He wants there to be peace so badly. The theme of this poem is to take one breath at a time. Meaning to go slow and be patient because peace will come, but for now focus on surviving.