Joburg is unlike any city we've visited on this world tour. It lacked a clear tourist area with shopkeepers hawking African curios, real or imitation. Its bad reputation has kept the city largely untouched from would-be travelers. What is evident on the surface is a whole mess of scars from Apartheid. It seems like no less than a quarter of the buildings in the city lay empty and in varying states of decay. Meanwhile, the streets are unabashedly filled with homeless people who are prohibited by the government from squatting in the buildings. This is what remains in the wake of the great "white flight" from the city when Apartheid fell in 1994.
1994...I was eleven before Black Africans were given equal rights to Whites in South Africa. For nearly 50 years, the country's official policy was to keep White, Black, and Colored South Africans (Note: "Colored" in S. Africa refers to someone who is of mixed parentage, i.e. black and white parents. It does not carry the negative connotations of the same term used in America's history of Civil Rights) separate and never equal, a policy that the government policymakers authored after diligently researching other Nation's attempts at institutional segregation, including our own US of A. Nate and I did what we could to learn about Apartheid. We listened to Trevor Noah's book about growing up in the city as a Colored person (Xhosa mother and Swiss German father). We also talked with people who lived through Apartheid, both our Afrikaans host (Afrikaans = White South Africans of mostly Dutch heritage who arrived in S. Africa in the 17th century) and several Black Africans of various tribal backgrounds (Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, etc.).