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My South African Top Ten (5-1)

Student blogger Shelly NU continues her countdown to number one…

5. Learning the meaning of “lobola” (bride price).
Taking a trip into Lesotho, we crossed the border, climbed a mountain and had a picnic. Along the way, our tour guide picked up some young friends that like to follow him around on his tours. When the boys and our tour guide started laughing and looking at me, I knew I had to ask for some translation. “He asked how many cows your father would want for you,” he told me and laughed again.

4. Three words: Snoop Doggy Dog (x2!).
Although Snoop got arrested and failed to show the first time, the crowd rebounded and welcomed him to SA. He returned the good wishes by asking the entire stadium to smoke a joint with him.

3. Seeing FreshlyGround perform at the Baseline in Newtown.
Anyone who can play 10 instruments is a hottie in my book. Oh, and the music was unbelievable as well.

2. “Welcome home” – Getting robbed in the center of Joburg, driving the infamous yellow Toyota nicknamed “Moshoeshoe”.
After the initial shock, anger and crying we toughened up and accepted all the “Welcome to Joburg” joshings. I had to waste money on a new phone and phonecard but hey, I probably gave someone enough money to eat that day and I had a story to tell when South Africans asked me how I liked their country.

1. Madiba magic! Meeting Nelson Mandela and the Black Eyed Peas – at the same time.
The Black Eyed Peas came to South Africa to launch a non-profit children’s organization called the Peapod Foundation with a benefit concert at the Johannesburg Stadium in Ellis Park. Twenty-five thousand fans were able to rock out with the Peas for free. Check out my article for The Star.

So there it is, just a few of the good, bad and amazing stories of this country. South Africa is truly “the world in one country” – where Third World meets First in an amalgamation of culture and spirit. One thought remains: I must come back.