Sunday, November 14, 2010

Awethu Fellow?? ... arriving in Jo'burg

So what the hack is Jasmin doing back in South Africa?
Well, I am an "Awehtu Fellow"!??! ; )

So I didn't know a whole lot when I arrived in Johannesburg beginning of September. This is however, what the "fellow description" told me:

"An Awethu Fellow works one-on-one with an Awethu Entrepreneur to establish a new business that will eventually be run by that Entrepreneur.
(Awethu is a word which was used during the anti-apartheid struggle and means "ours")
My role is extremely entrepreneurial and requires competence in a number of technical business areas : )
I will have the fascinating and valuable experience of establishing a business, to be owned by a previously unemployed, historically disadvantaged entrepreneur, in one of Africa’s most important and most rapidly changing economies."

Johannesburg also wasn't the most appealing city of South Africa. However,it is the largest city and "big beating heart" of South Africa.
Jo'burg, or Jozi as it's commonly known, is also the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of ANY metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With almost 4 million people, and large disparities among them, living closely together, its not surprising to have high crime rates... which is about all I had heard about last time I visited...

Even better, I am working in supposedly "the most dangerous" areas of the city : the township of Alexandra.
In South Africa, the term township and location usually refers to the (often underdeveloped) urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of Apartheid, were reserved for non-whites (principally black Africans and Coloureds, but also working-class Indians). Townships were usually built on the periphery of towns and cities.)

But as I am usually intrigued by such an adventurously sounding journey, I decided to see for myself what life would be like in one of the most dangerous place of this planet ; )

(if you made it this far and are still hungry for actual info, check out the price of freedom, underneath : )

Pics above:
As I arrived in perfect time for spring, I was pleasantly surprised that Jo'burg also likes to claim to be the largest "man-made" forest. This includes a plethora of jacaranda trees that help to dress the city in green and purple during the months of October : )

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