Reflecting on the diversity, colour and attitude of this country, Ingrid Jones invites you to take a turn on the dance floor.
South African Airways is the flag carrier airline of South Africa, and its in-flight magazine, Sawubona, is the proud showcase of South African excellence to the world. Every month, the team strives to “bring the world to Africa and take Africa to the world”. Every story, every angle, every image, every layout, every cover, every font, every pull-quote, every contributor is chosen with extreme care.
A Truly African City
On a recent visit to Johannesburg – I am a Capetonian who lives in a small town called Pringle Bay – I was astounded by the exponential growth of the city. Not just the scale, but the hustle and bustle everywhere you go. Everything is bigger than in any other South African city.
The houses, the hotels, the cars, the heels, the deals, the walls, the billboards. It feels like a city in Africa, not in any other country across the waters. As I drove to my next meeting, we passed art vendors showcasing their made-to-size bronze sculptures of the big five, and I wondered in whose garden this would be on display. Because there must clearly be a market for it, given the amount of cars queuing to check out the visual feast.
The informal and formal economy sit comfortably next to each other, and there is a sense of business activity hovering above the beat of the city. Cape Town is sometimes jokingly referred to as Sleepy Town, perhaps because we wear flat shoes because we live close to the sea, and everything feels a little more mellow and chilled. Durban oozes a sense of the Caribbean with her warm waters and rich sense of diverse cultures.
Vibrancy, Diversity and Dance
What is it about us that makes visitors come back over and over again? When you ask visitors to our shores, they say it is the people, and our infectious way of dealing with life. Our vibrancy, our diversity, our sense of humour (or not), and our dances.
We dance it out! You can go anywhere, and there will be people dancing to the beat of this continent; be it jazz, kwela, gqom, pantsula, kwassa kwassa, the riel, house, indlamu, sokkie… any style of dance and music we have developed right here on this continent.
And that is the best of us: our ability to push through and be ambassadors of everything we are as an African nation.