Soweto, which is a shortening for
South-Western Townships, is the twin city to Johannesburg and has
international fame for its grisly history. Soweto is composed of
26 small independent townships. Each of these towns is composed of people from varying regional tribes. Thus, the cultural ties and customs are very visible between each township. It originally began as a temporary housing slum for mine workers; by 1923, it had become the black ghetto for Johannesburg. After the famous violent riots that took place in 1976, Soweto gained international recognition. Since much of the conditions have improved. Regardless, to this day, Soweto is one of the most impoverished places in the world, with one of the highest rates of murder and rape is the world. Ironically, it is also one of South Africa’s richest towns. There is a huge disparity between the fortunate and rich and the poor and unfortunate. Nelson Mandela has one house in Soweto as well as the Archibishop Desmond Tutu. There are also slums and shacks. In Soweto, some people choose and can afford to go to the Baragwanath Hospital. Others choose or decide to consult their traditional ‘spiritual guides’ and ‘healers’ for support.