After paying respect at the Memorial to the Guguletu Seven and to Amy Biehl, we visited some of the projects in Guguletu and Khayelitsha that Uthando work with. Specifically eKyaya eKasi, The Heart of a Woman Project, Thokozani Youth Centre to hear their remarkable choir, see the Better Choice Gumboot Dancers for a performance and learn more about the Ikhaya Garden. Ending the morning with a stop at the Dance for All studios.
Uthando means LOVE. And that is certainly the main ingredient at every place that we visited. Love and passion for building an engaged and artistically inspired youth and community.
As James says: ’Uthando (Love) South Africa is a unique and innovative Non Profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited company. The aim of Uthando is to raise funds and other forms of assistance for community development projects in South Africa.
The Uthando Tours run as daily scheduled tours AND tailormade private tours (for groups of any size) to suite particular interests, whether it be urban agriculture; animal welfare; youth development through the medium of art, dance, choir singing, classical music, drumming or sport; special needs education; assistance to refugees; the environment; economic empowerment through skills development; arts and crafts; township theatre; prisoner rehabilitation; care and protection for children, women and the elderly.’
The optimism, hope and incredible work being done by all, the invaluable impact they have on the lives that they touch, is contagious. You want to stay and learn more, you want to be more involved. You don’t want the singing to stop or the energy of the dancers to fade. The laughs and chats of the woman, the nurtured gardens and supervised supplement education.
It’s here that the future of these young beautiful lives can be directed to a place of beauty. Despite their circumstance and background.
I highly recommend the tour for an uplifting, authentic, art infused and meaningful reminder of what matters in the world, the people bringing about change on the ground and the endless LOVE that is to be found in the world.
Yes, an individual can make a difference!
At eKhaya Ekasi and The Heart of the Woman Project.
Balcony Garden and below their beading project. The can be commissioned to do specific works or have a shop on site.
The Thokozani Youth Centre. Currently adding on a library and computer room. Here we listened to the choir, powerful voices that set straight to the emotions.
Better Choice Gumboot Dancing run by Eric for children between the age of 7 and 18. The precession and dedication as well as team work is impressive beyond.
Below the Ikhaya Garden Project at the Isikholelo Primary School, headed up by poet and creative Xolisa Bangani who is teaching the students the value of growing your own.
A stop visit at Dance for All Youth Company in Athlone.
A drive through the area which houses a quarter of greater Cape Town’s population, one that is less than twenty years old. History, struggle, sadness, patience, perseverance and hope are all words that come to mind. But with the likes of James Fernie, Uthando, the people he works with and LOVE. It’s mostly the word hope that shines.
Thank you for a very special morning. Uplifting indeed!
Part of the Memorial to the Guguleti Seven. young men who gave their lives in the country’s struggle fro Democracy.
The Amy Biehl memorial in Guguletu. Read more about this Foundation
A bench by Rock Girl seen in Guguletu.
The view towards the city and Table Mountain.
Please also support their Fundraising event on 6th September, it’s going to be an evening of riveting proudly African entertainment.