Post written by guest contributor Phumla Nkantsu
Born in the beautiful Cape Town and growing up in the rural farms of Mooiplaas, thirty kilometres outside East London. I had a happy childhood filled with travelling a lot. My godmother took me with her to Alexandra, in Gauteng Province. I never knew I had a family in other parts of the country until 2002 when she was in a critical condition. My biological mother, who was working in Cape Town, sent us to Mooiplaas where the rest of AmaQocwa clan lived. Unfortunately my godmother died in the taxi while were traveling.
Everyone in the village comforted me when I was grieving. I was introduced to my siblings, which I had never met before, and it took me two months to know each and every person my age in the village because they treated me like I was part of the family already.
Mooiplaas has more than 15 small sub-villages,and one of them is Mzwini. Mzwini is a home to many people who were forcibly removed from another village during the civil wars. Most houses are built of bricks and have red tiled roofs. To the right of the village, flows quietly a clear river.
When I was younger, I used to swim there with my friends. I can never forget the wonderful time on this river, fishing.
In the morning, both men and women work on plantations and harvest time is certainly the busiest and the merriest time of the year. In the afternoon, people usually take a nap after lunch and some do some work on their small gardens. Children are often found outside, playing popular games or doing their school work. Then the evening is leisure time, when men play cards and talk about the days’ incidents around the burning fire.
Progress in science and education has already begun to affect the outlook of the people. They go to seek their fortune in the cities, and go back home for Christmas because they are attached to their native land. My village, like any other community, experiences teenage pregnancies and substance abuse. The youth are trying so hard not to judge but to stand together and fight against these struggles, with strong religious beliefs that bind them together.
Mooiplaas is also home to celebrities like Chumani Pan (plays Melusi in Montana) and Mluleki Ntsabo (sports commentator at SABC). We are making stars.
Mooiplaas, my pride and my hometown.