Flowers for Madiba

I didn’t make it to the memorial last night, which was a glorious tribute to Nelson Mandela, but went to place some flowers at the City Hall this morning. In some ways it’s a silly gesture but it felt good to do that and to mix with people feeling as I did. Afterwards I walked around the CBD and felt something palpable in the air … it wasn’t just summer and tourists and buskers, it was ‘gees’, it was history being made – and it wasn’t the first time we’ve experienced it in South Africa.

These photos are not in the order I want them but WP is playing up tonight and won’t allow me to re-arrange them so …. well, whatever… this was the scene in front of City Hall.


A new political party gets in on the act.


One Angolan or all of Angola? Doesn’t matter, the thought was there.


Almost a typo from Bangladesh.

big screen

The big screen is there to record your moves,

City Hall

City Hall looking very gorgeous with potted plants and trees and stuff.

City Hall1

The famous balcony where Nelson Mandela first addressed the world after his prison release in the 90s.

Digital tribute

You can sign a book by hand or give a digital tribute.


The Democratic Republic of Congo is there, too.


People stroll, place their flowers, stroll some more, look closely at messages, take photos, walk on ….


Until you go there and see the flowers you don’t realise how much there is. They’ve been pushed very tightly up against the railing (to leave walking space and for more flowers) – the first flowers placed must be quite rotten – you can barely see them under the new ones. I wonder if they’ll be composted and the messages recorded?

My flowers

My bunch with secret message hidden inside the flowers. The selection and process of buying them from the famous flower sellers was as much a part of it as placing them.


Nelly Mandela? My sister moment!


Someone went to a LOT of trouble making a Mandela sampler…


Now this made sense – a tree. I hope it gets watered and eventually planted .


And another tree

Wine is the answer

Yes, I agree – wine is the answer, with a Coke for the next morning.

More than u think

Madam and Boss

I bought a cheesy top from this lady but it bothered me that she called me ‘Madam’ and another bloke “Boss’ – told her those days are over, no more addressing white people as Madam or Boss!

About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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