My Journey on exploring about South Africa


This is how my journey started.

One day, my english teacher Ms.Cox showed some images on apartheid and discussed how we thought about it as a class. Then, we got into groups and decided a topic. My group’s topic was Soweto uprising.
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✻  This picture was taken the day before Soweto Uprising

We researched about it as a group and gathered information and photos on a document. Then, we made a magazine about it individually. I learned when Soweto uprising happened, where it happened, why it happened, how it was like before Soweto Uprising, how it changed the country, and the good and bad effects. Here is a page of my magazine↓:

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Later on, we learned about Soweto Uprising as a class too. We watched a movie called “Invictus” which was about Nelson Mandela. From the movie, I learned what Nelson Mandela did and how he changed the world. I also learned how much he was thinking about his country. He worked very hard on changing the laws, and making South Africa into a new country. During that period, non-whites were treated unfairly so Nelson Mandela tried to change it and make non-whites treated fairly as the whites. Even though he was sick, he worked hard for the country without resting.

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✻ The picture on the right is one of the scenes in Invictus

After the movie, we read a book called  “Journey to Jo’burg” by Beverley Naidoo. The book was about a 13 year old non-white girl who lived in South Africa and was very poor. She walks to Johannesburg with her brother Nadeli which was more than 300 kilometres away.


When I was reading Journey to Jo’burg, I learned that non-whites were poor and some parents went to other towns to work. Also, I learned that whenever people wanted to go somewhere, they couldn’t easily use cars. They had to walk even though it was a very long way. Also, I learned what happened in apartheid such as what the protesters could see, how they feel and what people were like. I felt sad and frustrated when I knew what happened and how non-whites were treated. I am glad that apartheid ended and non-whites are treated fairly now. But still, there are judging and treating people unfairly so I hope it will get better and better.

After reading the book, we worked on our Grace’s Story which is a story Grace (a character in the book) told Naledi and Tiro. We had to make our original one by making Grace’s story into present tense, making into Grace’s perspective, and make it more descriptive. It was hard to make it all present tense because I wasn’t used to it. Also when I added description, I imagined what could happen and what the protesters could see, smell, and hear.

Later on Shane, who lived in South Africa during apartheid came to talk about South Africa. He taught us a lot of things such as

“Whites lived in a rich house with maids”

“Whites got better education than the blacks”

“There were media control like information changed”

“Non-whites Grade 12 graduation was the same as 4th or 5th grade whites graduation”

I thought it was very unfair to the non-whites and was shocked and surprised when I heard his talk. Also, when I imagined if apartheid was still going on, I knew that our life would have been so much different.

In conclusion, I enjoyed learning about South Africa but felt very sad about what happened. At first I didn’t know what apartheid was and also I didn’t know that non-whites were treated so unfairly before. I couldn’t believe that it happened quite recently, not way before. One of the main things I learned were, what is apartheid and Soweto Uprising and what happened there, and also that non-whites were treated unfairly. I really thought it was depressing what happened and I was shocked. I am glad that apartheid ended but I think there are still judging people by how they look and treating people unfairly as I mentioned earlier. Again, I thought learning about South Africa during apartheid was good because I think it can change people’s thoughts and opinions.

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 9.44.18 AM This is a picture taken in the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

What are the relationships between texts and the real world?

This is our MYP question. Through out this unit, I think the relationships between texts and the real world is that it tells you something but even though it is about the same thing, it can tell you different things. For example, during apartheid the government changed some information in the media and included things that are not true. It is quite easy to change things in text but it can be very hard to change things in the real world. The real world can be more harsh. Also in text, there can be opinion of the writer so that can affect the readers thoughts.

How much do you know about South Africa during apartheid? If you don’t really know about it, this is a great topic to learn about! 🙂