Port Elizabeth, South Africa

An extract…

Port Elizabeth is the popular football player or cheerleader who believes they’re the bees knees and looks down on everyone outside of their circle. Till they finish school and move to a bigger city to study further only to discover that they are actually just small fry. Despite this, the city has a superiority complex underneath its friendliness. Sometimes this friendliness is genuine and lovely and meaningful. Other times it’s just small town etiquette. A formality.

This city is complex. It has baggage. It shows you the beach but hides the townships. You see, townships are the reminder of this city’s wounds. Of the deliberate and traumatic division of its people through architecture, race, class and language. The city’s signage calls them Ibhayi. (Strange, since this word is supposed to refer to the entire city and not just a section of it.) PE struggles to bridge these divisions. To reconcile and heal from them. But the city is trying to develop. Build itself. Make itself better. Revamp itself. Taking its cues from its role model, Cape Town.

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