$1500 in flight re-routing fees (ouch), 24 hours in-transit, lost luggage, and a serious case of jetlag later, I made it to Cape Town!
I was greeted at the airport by UN ambassadors. Okay, I’m kidding. Three really nice ladies picked me up after fretting about not hearing from me for hours after my flight was due to arrive (delays, lost luggage and such) — a Kenyan, a South African, and a Zimbabwean. With the addition of a Nigerian (me) to the mix, I knew I’d be in for an awesome first few days.
Upon being picked up, I was immediately told that I would be fed both food and lots of wine (and I was, oh I was); I was brought to my host, Tatenda’s, place for some serious wine-drinking and politicking. We stayed up really late that evening talking about everything from South African racial politics, to government cuts in non-profit funding, to gender roles, and the growing “dodginess” of unfeminist lesbians. The exaggerated gestures, loud laughs, passionate debates, and warm African hospitality made me feel so at ease; it felt like home. That first evening was hilarious, comforting, and enlightening all at once. I slept so well, in a spare room that had been prepared for me, knowing that I’d be spending my time here amongst friends.
Cape Town is absolutely beautiful. The next morning, my host, Tatenda (the Zimbabwean) drove me around to get me oriented, in her words, so that I wouldn’t get “swindled.” She is constantly making us tea, and loves to sit with a warm cup on her couch, covered in a blanket, talk politics, and giggle intermittently. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect host.
The other two women I met are the co-founders of Holaa (a blog run by and for African lesbians), and are my new favorite power couple. They go back and forth in playful banter — one is way more extroverted than the other (isn’t that always the case?) — and are working really hard on their first social event for their community members: on open mic evening of poetry and storytelling. It’s been heart-warming to travel so far and yet to see women creating space for themselves, working so hard to support their communities. I’m just so eager to support them in whatever way I can.
And why wouldn’t I? Look at that picture. I’m in such good hands. :)