Back on Aussie shores after the craziest, most unforgettable tour with Darlene Zschech & crew. I probably sound like I say every tour is the best one, huh? Haha… That’s because, just when I think, “How can it get any better?”, each new trip just trumps the last one… Bananas! This time we were Africa-bound, traveling to Johannesburg & Zimbabwe.
As we touched down at Joburg airport, the air was thick with an excitement fueled by the upcoming World Cup. People seemed to have an extra bounce in their step, & everywhere we went surroundings were adorned with national slogans, colors & whatnot. Felt pretty special to be back on mother soil too (for those who don’t know, I was born in Cape Town a few moons ago…). I knew it was going to be a great few days…
Our first stop was Rhema, in Joburg. The night we played there was phenomenal. One thing about the people of Africa in general is that they know how to engage & really sing. Wow… Talk about passion! At times I felt like just putting the mic down, to be honest (haha…). Just so unbelievable & the Rhema team couldn’t have been more accommodating either – so thankful guys!
Of course, after downing multiple bags of biltong (sort of like beef jerky, to all you Americans haha…) & making sure I got my boerwors fix (the most amazing sausage in history..!), I was one very happy guy. Also managed to squeeze in a photoshoot with my friend photographer, Shaun “SuperShaun” Strydom. Just wait till you see pics aye, the guy is ridiculously talented!
Next commenced the trek to Zimbabwe, a first for all of us. Man… What a remarkable place aye. For a nation that’s endured quite a bit in recent times, I found the people there so beautiful, approachable & especially courageous. There’s like a tangible sense of hopefulness, which I really dug. A passionate people too…
We went to Bulawayo first, followed by Harare, for Festival Of Life with Joyce Meyer. It was reportedly the first major gather there since 1984, so what a huge honor & responsibility being there. Governemnent gave the green light & it was even covered on national television.
Between playing at different sessions & venues (one outdoor, one indoor) though, we also had a chance to visit a Rose Of Sharon orphanage. Playing with the kids there, & having the opportunity to help buy them food & toys, was one of those moments that will forever be etched into my memory.
Was definitely sad to leave, but I’m glad we at least got to spend time with them aye. I have so much respect for Ms Fatima & her team for being so sacrificial in taking care of those children. Wow…
The final night of Festival Of Life saw 250 000 people come out, some who had traveled for hours on the roughest African roads just to get there… Definitely an experience to be remembered for a lifetime.