It has begun.
So I thought you might enjoy this find.
In 1996 South Africa took part in the Olympics for the first time after last participating in 1960, because Apartheid was finally abolished. And everyone was super excited.
I was an awkward 12 year old in Newton Park Primary school in PE. My first real boyfriend had just broken up with me - a VERY big deal - and I had just gotten my first truly horrid haircut - a chinese bob, which on me was an afro that started above my ears. Not my favourite memory.
Every single kid in every (compulsory) art class made an entry for the Olympics competition. Mine was a coloured pencil drawing of an action shot - a bunch of South African athletes holding up the trophy and celebrating. I don't have an actual image of the drawing, but I imagine it wasn't terribly good, as I drew from imagination, and I've always sucked at that. But my work was chosen (as were hundreds of others), and I would be flown to Johannesburg for a weekend and have the privilege of flying in our Olympic plane. (woot)
I sound snide now, but it was a big deal. My first time flying, a weekend all expenses trip away with my mom and about 8 others from my school. We got bunches of olympic merch (too short but very colourful tracksuit and beanie is what I remember best) We got to stay in a Formula 1 hotel - the kind where the bathroom is so small, its a wetroom by necessity - I'm fairly sure we met the athletes (but that wouldn't have been a priority, never cared much for celebs) and the highlight, and flying in Ndizani, the plane with a name. I very specifically remember that the settings in Ndizani were still being tweaked, most of the kids on the hour flight (joyride?) got sick to their stomachs. Air pressure trouble I guess.
In grade 6 my and my best friends first ever drawings in art class were featured in our school newspaper, because they were the best in class. Awkward HB drawings of our left hands. And I realised for the first time that I'm sort of good at this drawing thing.
And then this Olympic competition happened.
Starting high school, the only thing I was completely sure of, was that I would take art as a subject. These were the first things that set me on this path.