Transkei and Aparthied

Big roars to you!

We have a big apology for you all… We have neglected our blog over the last month. So so sorry..but we are back to tell you more about the world and the adventures we are having!

We still need to tell you about our cycling trip. Remember how we are cycling from London to Cape Town to raise awareness for children who live on the streets.

In our last blog we told you all about cycling through Zululand and meeting the Zulu tribe.

We are now cycling through a really remote part of South Africa called the Transkei or Eastern Cape.

This part of South Africa is where another tribe is based…not the Zulu tribe but a tribe called the Xhosa tribe.



A very famous person was born in a village in the Transkei. His name is Nelson Mandela. He had a big part in ending something called Apartheid.

Apartheid was a horrible thing where people with different coloured skin were not treated the same. We think this is disgusting and everyone should have the same rights regardless of their skin colour, nationality, whether they are boys or girls.


Segregation (people living in different areas with people of the same skin colour) was started when Britain and Holland ruled South Africa, a long time ago.
But in 1948, the government classified the people into 4 categories; white, coloured, black and Asian. People were told they could only live in areas that people with the same colour skin lived. This meant that people had to live in separate parts of cities or even the country depending on what their skin colour was. Sometimes, people and families were forcibly removed from their house by the police and taken to live in a different area. The white people often got to live on the best land and get the best jobs, the coloured people were looked down upon and the black citizens were seen as the lowest level of society. Often the black people were given very poor land and were given jobs that noone else wanted or were dangerous, such as mining.

Sometimes, people that had been married for a long time would even be forcibly removed to different areas of a city and told they were not allowed to live with each other. For example, a coloured wife was not allowed to live with her black husband…and even the children were split up.

Blacks were not allowed to run businesses or professional practices in those areas designated as “white South Africa” without a permit. They were supposed to move to the black “homelands” and set up businesses and practices there. Transport and other services were segregated.

Black buses stopped at black bus stops and white buses at white ones. Trains, hospitals and ambulances were segregated.Because of the smaller numbers of white patients and the fact that white doctors preferred to work in white hospitals, conditions in white hospitals were much better than those in often overcrowded black hospitals. Blacks were excluded from living or working in white areas, unless they had a pass—nicknamed the dompas. Police vans patrolled the white areas to round up illegal blacks found there without passes. Black people were not allowed to employ white people in white South Africa.

This sign shows how people even had to sit on different benches in cities.

Dino is crying to think how sad people must have felt…it is so unfair that people weren’t given the same human rights. This man now talks about his experience of being forcibly removed… He made lion cry but dino says…we must learn from people like him so that this never happens again.


Lots of coloured and black people campaigned and fought against Aparthied. They tried to change people’s views by talking..and sometimes through using violence (which is never good). Lots of people got put in prison for speaking out against Aparthied or for committing violent acts. One such man was a Xsosa Prince called Nelson Mandela. He was member of a party called the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC wanted to get rid of apartheid and create a new South Africa that was for everyone.

The politicians banned the ANC from politics until a new President was elected in 1990. His name was F.W de Klerk. He allowed the ANC to join politics and also freed Nelson Mandela. Mandela had been kept in jail for 27 years!


Following his release from prison on 11 February 1990, Mandela led his party in the negotiations that led to the establishment of democracy in 1994.

In 1993, de Klerk and Mandela were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”

Nelson Mandela was voted President of the new ‘South Africa’.


The Transkei region was where a lot of the black people were forcibly removed to. He land is very desolate and rural. The hills are large and the winds are strong. It is a very bleak part of the world. It was difficult to cycle through because of the hills and the cold. It was so beautiful though.

We saw lots of villages on the hills… They were much poorer than the city areas. Everyone went to work using matata (minibuses). We saw lots of people walking to church.


The wind made it very cold and there was even snow on the peaks of the mountains!

We have had to stop camping as it is too cold and so we now find cheap hostels to sleep in.

Right… Time to cycle on… We are almost at the end of our trip!

If you want to learn more about apartheid and how horrible it was visit:

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