It’s Friday, and today was our last day to take in some of the sights around Johannesburg, do some souvenir shopping for everyone back home and to relax a bit before tomorrow and Sunday’s shows.
We started the day early again this morning with our final TV media interview of our visit – on the Morning Live show at the SABC2 studios with presenter (host), Leeane Manas. They have a wide open set for the show that overlooks the middle of the studio offices that kind of reminded me of the CNN building in Atlanta.
After leaving SABC2, we headed over to the Sandton City Mall for an autograph signing with fans at the Musica store. After spending most of the week touring and doing media interviews, it was great to finally be able to sit down and meet some of the fans in South Africa. Being able to spend some time with the fans brought the trip in full perspective for me – and that the reason we're here is to bring the music to the fans. I now have even more anticipation for the shows and I can’t wait to hit the stage tomorrow night.
After the autograph signing, we headed over to the African Craft Market of Rosebank to do some shopping. The marketplace is fantastic – there’s a wonderful array of colorful jewelry, art and crafts there. It seemed to go on forever, and trying to take it all in was overwhelming at first, along with every vendor vying for our attention. Once we got the hang of it, we had a great time interacting and negotiating with all of the vendors and we all bought a lot of souvenirs.
After the marketplace, we headed to the Nelson Mandela Square shopping center for a late lunch and more shopping. In the middle of the shopping center, there’s an open plaza with a fountain and a 20-foot-tall statue of Nelson Mandela. I found out later that the statue was erected in 2004 to commemorate the first decade of democracy in South Africa after the Apartheid era. At one of the shops there, a few of us bought Nelson Mandela 5-Rand collector coins that were issued to commemorate his 90th birthday. One US dollar is equal to about 7.5 Rands, so the face value of each coin after the exchange rate is roughly 65 cents. Needless to say, we won’t be spending them.
We’re back at the hotel now and I’m signing off early, because my big plan for the rest of the evening is to rest up for show day tomorrow!
Until next time…blessings!