Things To Do in SowetoDorothy Nyembe Park
Where? Off Roodeport Road, Main Road, Soweto, Johannesburg, Gauteng
How? Call +27 (0)11 938-7600
How much? Free
Set in Mofolo North, in Soweto, Dorothy Nyembe Park is a 26-hectare area that you will know it by the unusual sculpted figurines that stand four to five times the height of men, their arms outstretched, trees planted behind them.
Named after one of the struggle's heroines - a political activist and women's rights campaigner born in 1931 and who died in Umlazi in 1998. Dorothy Nyembe Park received a top award from the United Nations recently, a fitting award for a park that shares the name of a woman who led the Natal contingent of women to the Union buildings in 1956 to protest against the introduction of passes for women.
She worked alongside Albert Luthuli, Moses Mbhida, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo after being recruited by Umkhonto we Sizwe and was instrumental in organising women in rural areas in anti-government demonstrations - a campaign known as the Natal Women's Revolt. In all, she was to spend 18 years in prison for her part in the resistance.
The park includes a bird hide overlooking a series of dams, an environmental centre, children's play area, sporting facilities and a dam, and takes roughly 30 to 45 minutes to walk around, depending on how distracted you are by the park's facilities.
Most recently, in 2011, the park received a golf driving range to add to the pedestrian walkways, bridges, soccer pitches and braai and picnic areas. It is Soweto's second drive - the other is at the Soweto Country Club. The park also has a nursery, installed in 2010, that is part of a project using a process called 'hydro-seeding' - a way of planting that involves a combination of mulch and seed sprayed together over prepared ground.