SA celebrity and Sawubona’s new editor-at-large, the much-travelled MAPS MAPONYANE shares the origins of his love for travel
Anticipatory yet nervous. Excited yet cautious. As a kid, I would watch a myriad of TV shows and cartoons that would always have my mind high up in the clouds, wondering what it would feel like to fly one day. That feeling of weightlessness, seeing everything from atop just as the birds do; being in one place at a single moment and another the next… these things would remedy my impatient “waitlessness” I felt as a young boy.
Over and over again, I would listen to my father speak about his adventures of flying to one mysterious destination after another, being the gleeful recipient of treasures he found along the way. However, just like Superman, Batman, my father and other superheroes I adored, I wanted to fly too.
I was 16 when I got as close to that sensation as I possibly could: my first-ever flight. It was on an SAA plane, from Johannesburg to Cape Town, with my family during the December holiday season. I remember feeling a sense of comfort, an ease throughout the flight, despite the odd bumpy patch that would awaken my nerves. Sitting by the window allowed my imagination to wonder. The focus was less on being inside a big metal bird and more on the ground we were flying over.
It was that moment of flying into Cape Town, seeing the mountains and the sea, that had me in awe of how a little time spent in the air could create a whole new reality. It was also then that the flying bug had bitten. I decided there and then that whatever I did in the future it had to involve a lot of travel. I wanted to see as much of the world as I could.
With less than three months left in the year, I’ve already been on more than 100 flights in 2018… times have certainly changed. Be careful what you wish for right? In a career that has subsequently led to a life of constantly being on the road (and in the air), I can’t think of a better platform to share my experiences than my country’s national carrier’s magazine.