Hanging out with the Kaizer Chiefs
That's the football team from Soweto, not the band from Leeds, although they are of course connected....
Phew - yesterday was a bit of a rush and I never got chance to blog. You'll forgive me when you hear what I did, not to mention the state of the Jo'burg traffic which is constant, never ending, and incredibly frustrating....
So straight off the plane and a drive to the Kaizer Chiefs training ground, the venue for Tuesday's programme. The village was built in 2006 so it's new and impressive - the room we're broadcasting in has a view out to Soweto - including the famous twin chimneys. Everything, absolutely everything, has the Kaiser Chiefs logo on. If fact if you click on the line and choose the upstairs bar, you can have a 360 degree look, at the room we'll be in on Tuesday!
That's not to forget the Chief's great rivals the Orlando Pirates, plenty of our audience do support the "other side".....so we're not picking favourites! Plus the journo we're working with here is a pirate and if Mbuso felt any bias he'd tell me straight!
Sarah and Stuart - our engineers got the lines up - and then we headed to Sandton, the rich financial suburb, to check out our Wednesday venue. We were there in May 2006 and although they've re-decorated, our old friend, Blessings the manager was there to welcome us back.
Again (and this is really shocking) we tested the ISDN lines (which as any radio producer knows are near to impossible to order, track and get working) which allow us to broadcast and they worked. By now I'm getting pretty nervous. Everything is going too well.
Today I have a breakfast meeting with the British Embassy in South Africa, which goes very well, except the timing, 7.30 am. That's 6.30am in London. I try to look awake and engaged through my blood-shot slits of eyes! Ros lands safely, we get a live trail on our partner station for next week SAfm, between Ros and Xolani Gwala - our co-host for next week, although slightly confusingly he's up in Durban.
And we head to Constitutional Hill - you can see the photos I've downloaded on our flickr account.......
It was a large prison complex during apartheid and to visit it and take a tour was a very humbling and moving experience. The conditions that prisoners (some political, some minor offenders) were horrendous, shocking and totally inhumane. It includes the Constitutional Court, built with such extraordinary imagination and symbolism since the fall of apartheid, it was nearly as moving as the history of the Old Fort.
We weren't there to sight-see (although that was a very nice bonus) we were there for a meeting with representatives from the Sowetean media. I can't tell you the reason now.......but soon. Probably quite soon, I was always rubbish at keeping secrets!
Pushing on, we headed to SAfm's offices to meet our new colleagues for next week. I was particularly looking forward to meeting Xolani (but he was in Durban) and Themba - the SAfm producer who will be working with us on the road next week. It went well, despite the talk of news junctions and jingles!
So now I'm back at our guesthouse, everyone is have a nap, and I'm blogging (do you feel sorry for me yet?) Still traditional African fare tonight at Moyo - which is the Swahili word for soul - it looks great! Tomorrow at 9am we head to Musina, on the boarder with Zimbabwe. Our lovely Karnie has been confirming our guests there from our London home. If you've forgotten where we're going when, you can check out my original posting.
In other news, Themba says that the main talking point about the World Cup 2010 is not will SA be ready, but who is 2010 going to benefit. Will tickets be too expensive for ordinary working fans? What about small businesses who complain about not getting sponsorship tenders, and they worry that all the promotion will just rake in cash for big international business, not local or nation trade? It sounds like a interesting debate - is it getting you talking?
And Tic - once I started reserching the crystal meth drug, locally called tic, I couldn't believe how it's gripping Cape town, flooding through the Cape Flats townships, runing lives and whole communities.
And its not like South Africa hasn't been in the international news, is it? Only today prosecutors confirmed they have obtained an arrest and search warrant last month for national police chief Jackie Selebi. Today the ANC confirmed two high-level Ministers for our Sandton programme. I wonder if the audience will have questions for them about the case? Who knows? Well I don't, it's you our listeners and the audience on that day, who will ask them what you want. You can post your question to them here or email us direct.
As always suggest stories and join us in Musina, Jo'burg, Ladysmith or Cape town by emailing us. In case you've forgotten...how could you.......we're on firstname.lastname@example.org