Today exactly 26 years ago I remember watching the news on my mothers small black and white television. I was in her room, seated on the floor watching her dress up her, in between the news snippets that showed these long snaking lines of people black and white waiting to cast their first democratic vote.
My nanny and my maternal grandmother were going to vote for the first time ever. Days had been spent on planning for this day. My grandmother was elderly and so was my nanny at this point so with a bakkie ( Pick up truck) that only seats 2 my mother was working through the logistics of getting this done. My grandmother had planned her outfit as if this was her graduation day, she asked me to wash and blow her silver grey hair and put it into plaits. This was one of my favourite things to do for her as she loved making sure her crown was in perfect condition, regardless of the fact that she always had her head covered in a colourful scarf.
I can still remember the smell of my mothers room, her reminiscing through all the trials and tribulations she withstood during apartheid. From being held at gunpoint in the 80's by the army for being one of the first black women to own and drive a car in little Ingogo, they truly believed the was a informant/runner for the ANC because how could she have a license and a car when she was black and living in the sticks?
You could tell that this day meant a lot to everyone from the immense fuss that everyone was making in preparation for the 27 of April 1994. When I opened the front door as they were leaving the sun greeted us. It was a splendid warm day for a historical moment. The elders walked out with their heads held high, a lot of sacrifice and death had taken place for them to experience this day. As they left my sister and I stood waving them off in excitement, whilst we couldn't vote we knew that nothing would ever be the same again.
In memory of this day I would like to share a video that was shot a few years ago by myself. I took my mother away for a girls weekend away to thank her for all the sacrifices and the humiliation she fought in order to raise me into adulthood. life in South Africa was certainly not easy and whilst its different now its still packed with challenges.
Michelle shares stories of the journey " Those who travel meet Themselves" has taken. This book has travelled to more countries than Michelle has.