Soweto's snake charmers

By Drum Digital
05 February 2013

A fearless mom and daughter team turned their love for snakes into a business and educate people about these misunderstood creatures

Snakes are loose on Vilakazi Street, the road famous for being the only one in the world to have been home to two Nobel Prize winners – former president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Now this busy road in Orlando West, Soweto, has another drawcard – two albino Burmese pythons and an anaconda.

The snakes are attracting and charming tourists and township folk, who come in their numbers to stare in awe at the slithering, beautiful creatures.

Vilakazi Street is a cultural melting pot, offering everything from indigenous food to African music and dance performances and the opportunity to have one’s portrait sketched at a street-corner studio. And the experience is not complete without a visit to Mamfiso’s Snake Show.

It’s been two years since owner Lindiwe Mngomezulu (55), popularly known as Mamfiso, opened her home to people who want to view a snake show. For an entry fee of only R10 snake-lovers and the curious can enter Mamfiso’s five-room house and get close to the magnificent snakes.

Mamfiso is assisted by her daughter, Lwandle Duma (18), who recently passed matric and is planning to study zoology.

Read more in DRUM – 7 February 2013

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