Ubuntu Christmas: 'Glam girls' go back to their roots with a Nissan X-Trail in an epic road trip adventure

Vuyi Mpofu
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Nissan X-Trail Image: Vuyi Mpofu

Three glamour girls packed their bags in a Nissan X-Trail, taking off their weaves, and nails, to reconnect with their rural roots in a road trip from Jozi down to some villages on the Wild Coast.

Christmas time was one of the few times I would see my parents, especially my father, genuinely laugh. He was a man of few words and those words would normally be centered around barking instructions or conveying disappointment about my school work!

It was only at Christmas that I would see him genuinely laugh and be relaxed. Not just him, but my uncles and aunts too, whose sense of humor and antics would be sharpened by what I learned in later years to be the effects of alcohol.

Teaching life lessons

Memories of toddlers tearing breathlessly through the house and sprawling landscape flooded to mind as did the distinct sounds of clucking hens, mooing cows, and baying goats.

READ: DRIVEN - Nissan's refreshed X-Trail in SA

In my mind’s eye, I smelt the crisp morning air, fresh cow manure, home-baked bread, braaied cuts of lamb, and slow-cooked samp with such vividness I had to pinch myself to bring me back to the reality of sitting on my couch in the tree-lined streets of my suburb. But not before my mind conjured up visions of the adults telling stories of the clever hare and the slow tortoise as a way of teaching us life lessons.

Ubuntu Christmas

                                                                                Image: Vuyi Mpofu

I saw the twinkling stars on many a clear night, and the frightening sound of owls and jackals calling Oh and the music…

I unconsciously began to sing the chorus line from the delightful but infamous song Via Orlando. Delightful because it was so simple to sing but infamous because the elders didn’t relish the idea of kids singing about having a headache so severe that the singer described it as the hangover going via Orlando township to get back to his head!

After not having spent Christmas in such an environment in over a decade, the nostalgia engulfed me to the point I wondered how I could recreate those childhood children memories once more.

Vuyi Mpofu

                                                                               Image: Vuyi Mpofu

Thus the birth of the idea of celebrating Christmas, Ubuntu style. Like most good ideas, in my head, it sounded excellent and quite simple but when I noticed the eyes of the first person I mentioned it grow to be the size of dinner plates, I had some doubt.

But, I had grown to like the idea and I wasn’t about to change my mind. I was going to drive to the first village I came across at my ‘starting point’ at the border of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape, and ask for a night’s accommodation.

In return, I would offer my hosts the use of my (somewhat diminished) skills as a rural-raised woman who could chop firewood, fetch water from the river, cook scrumptious meals over a fire, slaughter a chicken and lend woman-power to building a hut.

Ubuntu Christmas pics

                                                                             Image: Vuyi Mpofu

The more I told friends, family, and potential sponsors my celebrating Christmas Ubuntu style, the more I was met with expressions ranging from awe and wonder to trepidation, bewilderment and downright ‘are you out of your mind?’

The fact that I would remove all trappings of city life from my person and wardrobe either made my audience laugh outright (like straight from the belly kind of laughter) or shock and horror.

So in addition to asking complete strangers to host a complete stranger for the night, I was also going to remove my nail tips and hair extensions, leave behind my make-up kit, heels, and fancy clothes!

Nissan X-Trail

                                                                           Image: Vuyi Mpofu

Having talked to two of my trusted friends, Songo Didiza and Charmaine Moswane, and with the much-needed buy-in from Nissan SA, Shell V-Power, and Huawei, our trip was set to begin in Johannesburg on Sunday, 17 December and end in East London on Sunday, December 23, 2018.

Along the way, we will stop in a few known towns such as Port St Johns, Hluleka, Coffee Bay, Hole-in-the-Wall, Mazeppa Bay, Morgan’s Bay, Haga-Haga and  Gonubie.

We don’t know which village we will visit, if anyone will take us in or if Ubuntu even still exists. What we do know is that our X-Trail will be able to tackle any roads we encounter, that we will get the best fuel efficiency from the V-Power diesel and take incredible pics and videos with our sponsored Huawei Mate20.  For us, this will be an adventure of a lifetime and a chance to relive the best parts of my childhood.   

Let the adventure begin!