- Politics and Social Issues
2016 - UBUNTU FESTIVAL on Human Rights day
2016 Human Rights day
Human Rights Day (21 March) was officially declared a public holiday in 1994 and today; the South African constitution protects individual rights, like the right to move freely without a pass book, which was the case when I arrived in South Africa during the early seventies.
Under the leadership of Robert Sobukwe – an appeal was addressed to all African men to take a stand against such a humiliating law, leave their pass books at home and to go to their nearest police station and demand to be incarcerated for not carrying the demeaning document. The police then, upon seeing the masses of people marching, opened fire on the crowd in a state of fear.
Every year this day is a celebration about the past and where we are today.
The Cape Town itinerary for this day
On the 21 March On Human Rights Day, the Labia Theater will host a screening of the hard-hitting documentary Running Dry and will run this documentary until 24 March in our Mother City. Tackling a number of water-related issues, like our right to clean water.
The following video is narrated by Jane Seymour and interrogates the worsening humanitarian water crisis around the globe, including in South Africa.
RUNNING DRY is a comprehensive public information/education project, established to raise awareness regarding the worsening global humanitarian water crisis
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY SWIM
This year 2016 there is going to be a HUMAN RIGHTS DAY SWIM.
This is to raise awareness for swimming and money for good causes. Swimmers will depart from Camps Bay Beach in freezing water temperatures along an 800-m, 1.6-km or a 5-km route. Swimmers have the option to brave the icy Atlantic with or without a wet-suit.
Additional donations will go to SEAL, an open water swimming trust that identifies disadvantaged swimmers and promote new talent and to help bring swimming to disadvantaged communities.
Human Rights Day is there to remember the events when 69 people died and 186 injured after police opened fire on demonstrators protesting against pass laws in Sharpeville. Many gathered to remember that tragedy, but we often just stay home to celebrate the beauty of South Africa, especially the Western Cape where we live.
WHAT WE OFTEN DO ON THIS PUBLIC HOLIDAY - depending on the weather.
It was a perfect day for hiking in 2014
Two years ago Robin and I decided to take a hike instead of working on this holiday. Walking on the fire break path along the mountain behind our property in Clovelly, towards Kalk Bay is always an adventure.. It had been a few years since we have done any kind of hike. We used to do climbing hikes regularly, but after my nasty fall while coming down from Table Mountain in 2004, and then in 2009 when I broke both my feet, we stopped going on any hikes that meant climbing over rocks and boulders. The injury to my feet had made me scared to take any more risks.
I realized two years ago that I needed to overcome this fear of being accident-prone since it had become a state of mind.
After we had a fruit smoothie for breakfast, I packed my small rather old Canon camera in my moon-bag and off we went. To get to the fire break from the back of our properly is easy. The road behind our plot has a climbing path leading right up the mountain towards the narrow path, which many hikers use daily.
The Afrikaans word for False Bay is Valsbaai . Our Bay is exposed to south-easterly winds in summer and its waters are approximately 6°C warmer than those of Table Bay, owing to the influence of the warm Agulhas Current of the Indian Ocean. It is a branch of the South Equatorial Current also known as the Mozambique Current. The Agulhas is one of the world's strongest ocean currents, with a speed of up to 1.4 miles per hour (2.3 km/h).
Stunning views over False Bay towards Fish Hoek and Simons Town in the distance
We are both always very grateful to live in what we feel is one of the best spots of the Western Cape.
Fish Hoek is a coastal town at the eastern end of the Fish Hoek Valley on the False Bay side of the Cape Peninsula in Cape Town
The Fish Hoek valley between Noordhoek and Fish Hoek used to be a sea passage that separated the Cape Peninsula into northern and southern islands. The valley is generally sandy and the bedrock is Cape granite. In places this is deeply weathered and in the past the rotted granite was mined for pockets of the mineral Kaolinite, which is used to make ceramic goods such as hand basins and bath tubs. The valley is famous for 12,000 year old Paleolithic skeletons discovered in a cave (now called Peers' Cave) by Bertie Peers and his father in 1927.
The most significant find, which launched the Peers Cave to world fame in 1929, was the excavation of a skull, blackened by age. The difference in bone structure was obvious, and found by Sir Arthur Keith to belong to an inhabitant of South Africa, who roamed the False Bay Coast 15 000 years ago.
Our weather patterns
The moment we overlooked the valley below towards Fish Hoek, we felt like youngsters again. To feel no strong wind coming from False Bay while being so exposed high against the mountain does not happen all that often. March is known for its wind free periods and often the best temperatures of the whole year. No heat waves but instead warm weather during the day cooling off towards the evening.
Sometimes the temperatures can range from around 15°C climbing up to around 25°C towards lunch time, ten degrees warmer. This will then cool off after four to five, but today it stayed warm until sunset.
We are now in autumn heading for our winter. After Easter the rains will come. We have a dry summer in the Cape, not like the Transvaal where it rains during summer.
The wolf from Clovelly
The neighbors behind us have a Siberian wolf as a pet. It used to howl every evening promptly at six when the owner took her Great Dane for a walk, but apparently she has lost her vocal cords due to old age. It was a rescue animal. 15 years ago the poor wolf was found in bad condition due to neglect. It had come off a Russian ship to be sold for lots of money. The previous owners could not take care of this wild animal and placed an advert in the local paper. Our neighbors took pity and adopted it since they had an empty plot next to their home on the slopes of the mountain.
We used to take our grandchildren to see the wolf by walking past the wire fence above our property where the wolf would pace up and down as wolves do. It had a German shepherd as a companion until it died of old age and now it’s befriended a young Great Dane.
Today as I'm editing this post the wolf has gone to better pastures.
No fear of heights
Often you see photos of rock climbers that seem to sit on the edge of a big rock overlooking the landscape far below. That is what we wanted to do.
From down below in Clovelly Road this huge boulder looks as if it could roll down the mountain at any moment. (Read Martie's article here on Hub pages when she visited us in 2015.)
The rocks and boulders with their formations that are scattered all over the all mountain tell a story of how this landscape must have formed due to great land shifting movements ages ago.
The labyrinth at the entrance to Clovelly
A friend of ours: Joanna Castle has built the labyrinth you can see far below in this photo with the help of people from the night shelter in Kalk Bay.
She was inspired to do something meaningful for the people in her neighborhood.
“Seamount Labyrinth is a beautiful 20X20 labyrinth on my property in Kalk Bay that is open to the public free of charge at Clovelly Beach in Kalk Bay.”
We have used the train several times into town. The rail trip from the central business district of Cape Town all the way through to Simon’s Town takes about an hour and a quarter, and takes you through a fascinating, ever-changing landscape.
I’m pointing at Simon's Town at the distance, often referred to as Simonstown. Originally it was named Simon’s Vlek after Simon van der Stel, the Dutch governor of the Cape Colony between 1677 and 1699, who surveyed the bay east of Cape Town in 1687 and earmarked it as a safe winter harbour during the months of May to September for which it was finally proclaimed in 1741.
We are almost at the spot where there must be a path leading down into Kalk Bay itself. We can see from the traffic that lots of people have come to spend the human rights day holiday day among the shops, restaurants, rock pools and beaches.
We found our way down towards the street. It has taken us just under one hour to do this walk. I’m truly glad that we did this because now I know that we can easily do more hikes and visit the Ascension and Peers Cave that are nearby where we live.
By this time we were ready for that promised coffee milk shake from Tribakery, one of our favorite places to drink cappuccino, but we were far too hot after that hour hike.
After strolling past the quaint shops on the main road that offer0 a variety arts and crafts, pottery, clothing, curios and bric-a-brac shops set in old -world charm. We stopped for a late lunch at kalkbay express coffee train.
- We Passed the beach were people from the Kalk Bay night shelter enjoy family time.
- Many people who live in a nearby old age home were having a picnic.
On the way home we stopped at the fishing harbor where fishermen were selling yellow tail and other fish.
Have you ever bought fresh fish straight from a fisherman?
Kalk Bay is one of the oldest a fishing villages on the False Bay Coast. The reverence for the sea and its awesome power unite the Kalk Bay fishermen even today, when many lost their fishing permits
due to the big corporations. The Kalk Bay rock-fishermen were regarded as the finest in the Cape Colony.
Hubs on Cape Town & South Africa
We often visit Kalk Bay by walking from our home along the road leading to Kalk Bay, so from this point on the return journey only took us another fifteen minutes. My feet were starting to complain, but We will never forget during the following years what we did on Human rights day in 2014.
Next month during 2016 we will again celebrate this day, but how we shall see.
Thanks for reading my ramblings.