South Africa: Useless Facts

If the property game is all about "Location, location, location", and keeping up with the Joneses, South Africa has one of the most desirable streets in the world.

Two Nobel Peace Prize winners - Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have homes on Vilakazi Street, Soweto.

While most politicians can't wait to escape their roots, these two have stayed in the geographical heart of the apartheid movement.
Gentrification is bound to follow of course, with a "peaceaccino" coffee soon to be launched at the local Starbucks, no doubt.

There are many townships or locations.  One of the most well known is Soweto, which stands for "Southwest Township,"

When Graça Machel married Nelson Mandela on 18 July 1998, she became the first woman in the world to have married the heads of state of two different countries.

She was previously married to Samora Machel, the first president of Mozambique. Talk about picky!!
Diamond mining is one of the mainstays of the South African economy. The world famous DeBeers mining company last year turned over a sparkling US$15 billion.

A far cry from its humble origins in 1860, when two penniless Dutch migrant brothers paid just £50 for a smallholding near modern day Kimberley.

The largest diamond ever found was dug up in South Africa in 1905. It weighed a staggering 3,106.75 carats uncut.

But it wasn't to be a diamond forever because it soon became three diamonds instead.

Cut into The Great Star of Africa, The Lesser Star of Africa and 194 smaller diamonds, it now forms part of the British crown jewels.

The slogan "A Diamond is Forever", most famously appropriated by Ian Fleming, was dreamed up for DeBeers by a US advertising agency in 1952. In 1999, it was voted Slogan of the Century by Advertising Age Magazine.
The British Empire met its match in the Zulu warriors of South Africa. At Isandlwana in South Africa in 1879, 1,400 British soldiers fought 30,000 Zulu armed only with spears.

The British lost, with casualties of more than 1,000. It was the biggest ever defeat of a modern army at the hands of a native force.
Get used to hearing the Afrikaans word "Wors", meaning sausage. No danger in South Africa of going short of protein - red meat is as much of an Afrikaaner birthright as wearing khaki shorts and carrying a side-arm.

"Boerwors", for example, is a long sausage curled into a spiral that tastes "lekker" (delicious) on a "braai" (barbecue), washed down with several tins of Castle lager.

In fact, the braai could almost be considered the South African's natural habitat. Just make sure to brush up on your dinner party conversation in the short gaps between mouthfuls by memorising the names of every footballer, cricketer and rugby player to have represented the Springboks. Ever.
According to African legend, Table Mountain, in Cape Town, was once a mighty giant - Umlindi Wemingizimu - the Watcher of the South.

He was one of four giants created by the one-eyed earth goddess Djobela, and was killed in a fight with the sea dragon Nganyamba, who wanted to prevent the creation of the land - a little selfish considering he has two-thirds of the planet's surface to splash around in.

The dying giant of the South begged his mistress to turn him into a mountain to continue the fight against the sea. Johnny Vegas was presumably the Watcher of the North.