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A Zulu young man

An Ndebele woman

LESEDI VILLAGE  .........   Yes, it was a tourist trap, but it was the best way to photograph some of South Africa's vanishing cultures. Lesedi Village featured Ndebele, Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa, and Pedi tribes all in one cultural package. And, much to my delight, the people of Lesedi (fully aware of who buttered their bread) welcomed any and all photographs.

The experience began with an excellent video show that also involved the actors of Lesedi doing things along with the show. Next came the tour of the tribal villages where traditional huts and daily life were displayed.

There was a dance where the Zulu warriors kicked their legs over their heads and stamped them in unison. And, naturally, there was audience participation. One of the Ndebele women took me by the hand. It wasn't too bad. We mostly stood in a circle moving our right foot in and out of the circle. In the end, our host said our participation helped to fulfill Nelson Mandela's wish for a rainbow nation.

The final touch was a buffet. There was Zambian nshima (kind of mashed potatoes made from corn meal) and I didn't eat it. But, I enjoyed squash, ostrich, and crocodile. I didn't try the impala. I couldn't eat any animal that beautiful.

Copyright 2010 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.