I got into the car, opened the windows and watched the sizzling air writhe its way out to join the rest of the scorching O. Thank heavens for air-conditioning.
Commissioner Street, Johannesburg. I tapped into the search function of google maps on my smartphone. The last thing I needed was to get lost in central Jozi. Apprehension coated my forehead in translucent beads that had a life of their own. Did I really need to do this? Sibongile, my housekeeper and recently qualified traditional healer seemed to think I did. She should know. I’d asked her to help me, but she said she didn’t have the power yet. Her analogy was along the lines of having a car but not the license to drive it. From past experience I knew how dangerous it was to meddle with the ancestors, so thought it best to go with her recommendation.
I drove past Marshall Street with its ubiquitous armed guards on the corner. “It’s perfectly safe, you know. It’s your white privilege that makes you so unnecessarily jumpy.” This from Sibongile. Apparently Anglo American weren’t as convinced as she was about safety, since it was they who employed the security guards on Marshall Street.
Was there even any parking? I drove slowly down Commissioner Street. My destination was on my right according to the google lady. Walter Sisulu House was on the far left and I was sandwiched between my destination and a Ria Viya bus stop. The city traffic hummed like a swarm of drones and every so often it felt like one of those drones was about to attack as a mini bus taxi filled to bursting point, swerved in front of me and slammed on brakes. People being expelled from the innards of the taxi like a pot boiling over on the stove and those people mixing with the drones. Nerves of steel were de rigueur when driving in Johannesburg. My nerves were made of fraying sack cloth.