Emzini is a small organisation run by Penny and Ella in Knysna, South Africa with the intent of supporting the people of the Township. We came across them whilst on holiday there and booked on to one of the township tours that they operate to get an insight into the lives of the local people.
On the way into the settlement we picked up a young boy who was feeling quite ill and took him to the health centre for a check-up, he returned soon due to not having the correct paperwork to be seen but Penny and Ella were concerned at the symptoms he was displaying. We witnessed many sights that you just don’t see as you drive past these vast sprawling collections of run down (and falling down) places including the ‘Township Big 5’ (Goat, Cow, Pig, Donkey and Dog). There are many small shops all in shipping containers and all specialising in one aspect or another. It seems that the various nationalities have their own particular items and services to sell. The supermarket was an eye opener, selling items in the smallest of quantities; i.e.: 1 Tea Bag, 1 egg or a single piece of fruit.
Penny and Ella are certainly well known in the area and everywhere they go they are surrounded by small children asking for sweets. That’s one way to win the hearts and minds!
Ella invited us into her home which was packed with children that she was caring for and we were entertained by Ella singing the Click Song and playing the Bongos. One of her children then sang the South African national anthem as we played along on the Bongos, both with far stronger and better voices than you will ever hear on the plastic TV shows such as X Factor.
It was certainly a very worthwhile experience and if you are in the area look them up at http://www.emzinitours.co.za, you won’t forget it in a hurry.

Emzini Panel