Jozi’s landmarks: the FNB Stadium

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The Calabash, symbol of “togetherness”, a value at the heart of the African culture

This is surely one the most iconic buildings in the city, a symbol known around the globe, reminiscent of the good old days of the 2010 World Cup.  Considered by many as the heart of the South African football history, the FNB Stadium hosted during its more than 30 years of existence a range of venues that goes beyond the sporting universe. Its stunning architectural features and the solemn atmosphere of the place makes it worth to visit: no need to be a big sport fan, I guarantee you will love it.

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Visiting ConHill, a fascinating experience

The Flame of Democracy, at the entrance of the Constitutional Court

The Flame of Democracy, at the entrance of the Constitutional Court

Constitution Hill is a very special place, in the sense that it fully embodies the darkest hours of the city and in the same time a glorious attempt to build a brighter future for the country. People here strive to ensure that the memories of the past, as dark as they may be, are remembered so that the values of the Constitution are kept alive and embedded in the laws of the country. Seeing how this process has been integrated at all levels, even in the architecture of the place, is a fascinating experience and that is why I can only recommend to whoever comes to the country to go and visit to the hill. You won’t be disappointed.

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My year with Madiba

Extract from last new's newspapers, the day Mandiba died

Extract from last year’s newspapers, the day Mandiba died

What a presumptuous title for a post! But still a meaningful one… We arrived for the first time to South Africa last year the day he died. In these days of remembrance, one will surely reflect on how the life of the leader of the nation has impacted his/her own. And so do I. Hence this post. Continue reading

The true weight of heritage

My dear future train driver

My dear future train driver

On September 24th, people celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa. On this occasion, everyone in the country is invited to re-connect with his/her own roots and to show for the whole word to see that despite its differences, this patchwork of tribes, races and cultures has finally learned to live happily together.

Heritage Day has soon turned into Braai day, the braai – local barbecue – being the common denominator bringing people of different layers of the South African society together. On that day, right before noon, the acre smell of burnt charcoal rises from every house, every garden, every park, striking eyes and nostrils equally while opening a long awaited perspective to your tastebuds. You feel “yummy” inside before you can even see the shape of a braai in your horizon.

This year was the first I participated to Heritage Day, and as excited as I was, I must admit that the memory of it is still bitter-sweet to me.

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I learned something valuable today

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There are a few things you will learn when you arrive to Johannesburg. Casual ones, like to always carry a lip balm with you everywhere you go, as the dry climate tears your lips apart. Or more serious ones, like to roll up your windows at crossroads, to prevent the mash and grab.

And then, there is the golden rule. Always hold on to your remote as if your life depended on it. That’s your lucky ticket, the one you don’t want to share, because a remote, that’s basically the key to a safe place in case of emergency. And in this city, you don’t want to jeopardise the access to your safe place. For your own security, and more importantly, for the one  of your family.

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