Kojo Laing on Cape Town


The truth about Cape Town lies just below the surface, as it were: the more contrast you see between the small shanty rooms to buildings of the townships and then the solid post-Victorian near-arrogance of the middle-class suburbs the more tears you shed as you move around the city. This city is in itself moving not only by its rather cruel and shallow contrast of class and colour but also by the facts of its potential: some of what has been achieved in the suburbs could so easily have spread to a tolerable extent to the deliberately small and insubstantial structures of the township.


What other feeling can you have apart from the utter disquiet of seeing children in the streets of the township during school hours; and feeling the almost eerie absence of children in the suburbs except in selected obvious places like beaches and shops.


Oranges are green and yellow and acidic in Ghana (except in Obuasi whose soil structures is different) while they are brightly orange and thick skinned in South Africa. If you take each orange in both places individually, you begin to have a divergent metaphor for political make up of each place. This skinned pictorially less deep oranges of Ghana can make your eyes smart, if you get too close; while their more flamboyant skins and colour in South Africa have a blandness that hides a more turbulent history. There is something salutary in approaching places through FRUIT.

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