Dark Tourist (2018) s01e07 Episode Script

Africa

[David] I'm a journalist from New Zealand investigating dark tourist hot spots around the world places infamous for being strange and deadly.
This trip takes me to Africa.
Here, I visit three dark tourist destinations.
In South Africa, I find out if townships are as dangerous as people say they are.
Are you carrying a gun with you? Oh, that’s just resting in there.
And I help some white separatists run away from their biggest fear.
- What sort of people are you expecting? - The blacks.
And in Benin, I’m initiated as a disciple of voodoo.
Oh, God.
[locals chanting] I’m David Farrier, and this trip gets weirder than I ever imagined.
[theme music playing] [David] My first stop is the West African Republic of Benin, famous for voodoo.
There are nearly 12 million people living in Benin, and half of them practice voodoo in some form.
I’m in the coastal town of Ouidah, believed to be the original home of voodoo.
All I know about voodoo is that it has a bad reputation for evil spirits, black magic, and sticking pins in dolls.
[thunders and lightning] [David] I’m really keen to see for myself what real voodoo is like, so I’m on my way to the world’s largest voodoo festival.
The gates of no return mark the site where an estimated 12 million slaves left Africa for the New World, taking the voodoo religion with them.
[locals singing] [David] And the Ouidah Voodoo Festival is held here every year.
[locals singing] [David] The festival attracts voodoo devotees and tourists from all over the globe.
Even the the pope of voodoo has turned up.
But that’s not what everyone is looking at.
[chattering and singing] - [local drums part of ritual] - [man speaking French] [David] A goat is sacrificed and then swung violently around in this man’s mouth.
I admire the strength of his jaw, but I haven’t a clue what’s going on or what it means.
While this is impressive and shocking, I wonder if it’s just the tourist face of voodoo.
[tourists chattering] [David] I contact a voodoo priestess called Martine to find out more.
She tells me to meet her the next day at a voodoo market where practitioners buy the ingredients for all their rituals.
- [motorbike] - [locals from market shout] [David] There’s a hell of a lot of dead animals on display, and the smell is overwhelming.
- [David] Martine? - Yes.
- I'm David.
- David? It’s nice to meet you.
 Do we shake hands? Do we hug? What do we do here? We shake hands and we hug.
[David] Martine says her spirit, Thron, told her a white man would be coming and he’d become her disciple, and she says that white man is me.
- So I have a voodoo spirit? - You have a voodoo spirit.
- I just don’t know it yet - You just don't know it yet.
[David] I’m nervous, but it sounds like the perfect way to get to know what real voodoo is.
So if I’m going to become one of your disciples, what will that involve? What do I need to do? I might be way off here, but I’m picturing some animals are going to die, probably? I’m sure some animals are going to die.
Those, they are dead already.
- These are long gone.
- They are gone already.
What are these here? Is this like a fox? This is quite a big guy.
- [Martine] This is a hyena.
- A chimpanzee? - Yeah, this is chimpanzee.
- [David] Oh, hello.
So there are a few live animals.
Is this a little This is a baby dog.
- Oh, it’s a puppy? - Yeah, it’s a puppy.
- [David] Oh! - Sorry! [David] I’ve never been to a shop that sells dried puppy heads before.
Martine seems nice, but I’m nervous about what’s in store for me.
Every ghoulish item here has a specific purpose for a priestess, out looking for a bargain.
Bury your enemy's name with a horse's head and unleash a plague of problems on them.
Whisper your enemy's name into a duck’s beak and you can silence them.
So if you get sick of me talking, you would do this to me? Yeah, to you, and then you will stop asking me a lot of questions.
[both laughing] - I’m going to hide this one.
- Please hide it.
Don’t buy it.
[David] Martine says there’s good and bad voodoo, but she’s into the good kind, and that’s what we’re shopping for today.
What do we need? Just the monkey skull? Don’t need the chameleon.
I could buy a chameleon.
How much is a chameleon? [David] I take the chameleon for $5 [David] There’s 20.
[David] and call him Wayne.
We’re getting to the end of our grisly shopping list, and our final ingredients are a lot fresher.
Oh, a lot of chickens.
Are we going to kill these? - Are these for sacrifices later? - Yeah, yeah.
- [Martine] You've got to use this on me.
- Right.
- But keep them alive? - No.
No.
[David] Of all the animals destined for the slaughter, I just wish it wasn’t birds.
I love birds.
But Martine raises a good point.
Do you eat chicken? - I’ve eaten chicken in the past, yes.
- Yeah, so before you eat chicken, - you need to kill them.
- This is true.
This is very true.
And you know what’s good here is after the sacrifice, we don’t throw the meat away.
- Oh, so these will be eaten.
- Yes.
Before you eat it, you kill it anyway.
The difference here is that the blood is used for something.
[David] Martine might be on the good side, but apparently her voodoo gods still need blood.
She says it’s the most powerful ingredient of all because it’s an offering of life-giving energy.
Martine takes me across town to her shrine, where she and her assistants are leading me through a three-hour ceremony to become her disciple, a follower of her spirit, Thron.
[speaking Benin] [David] Oh, we needed the gin.
[David] Martine throws some kola nuts on the floor as part of the ceremony, and I’m expected to eat one.
[locals chattering] [David munches] That's a nasty nut.
[Martine laughs] But very strong.
Here we go.
[David] The first ingredient has been brought in; the poor turkey.
How many animals would have died in this shrine, do you think? - Thousands.
- Thousands? - Yeah.
- A thousand? - Yeah.
- A thousand and one coming up.
[David] I knew Martine’s rituals might involve the odd animal sacrifice, but I didn’t expect it to be on quite such an industrial scale.
- [locals chanting] - Oh, God.
[David] This is the part I’ve been dreading.
[locals continue chanting] [David] I feel bad about the turkey, but Thron has given me the go ahead, and the ceremony moves outside to join a bunch of Martine’s voodoo assistants.
Hello.
- [woman] Welcome.
- Thank you.
I feel a bit nervous.
[woman] You feel nervous? [David] I decide now is a good time to free my chameleon, in case he, too, gets sacrificed to Thron.
Oh, he’s very happy.
Bye, Wayne.
Okay, you will take off your shirt.
[speaking Benin] [David] What’s this for? - I’m not allowed to tell you everything.
- No, you’ve got some secrets.
Yes, because normally the initiate is afraid.
He doesn’t know what is happening.
- [David] That’s how I feel.
- So My Christian parents won’t be very happy with this.
[both chuckle] I love this time, you know, of the initiation.
[David] There's just a lot of things going on that I’ve never seen before.
It’s just people poking me.
- Why is this happening, Martine? - You know, I want you to stop talking.
- Okay.
- Stop asking questions.
Just go with [David] I still have many more questions, but Martine’s had enough of them.
I wonder if she bought that duck head from the market after all.
[women chanting and clapping hands] [David] I’ve never been spat on with gin before.
It’s surprisingly soothing.
[women continue chanting] [David] Things are definitely quite weird right now.
I’m feeling pretty exposed, physically and spiritually, I suppose.
[chanting continues] [David] Thron claims the life of another bird.
This initiation is certainly quite different to the time I got baptized when I was ten.
[chanting continues] [David] They definitely didn’t do that at my baptism.
I’d just bought new underwear, but now that’s gone to be incinerated as part of the ceremony.
I’m feeling surprisingly refreshed.
A dove is brought out.
 I’m hoping it will be symbolically released.
[Martine saying prayer] [David] But no bird gets to survive my initiation, and instead, I’m given a dove bloodbath.
[chanting contnues] [Martine] Be happy.
I’ve never had a shower quite like this before.
[woman speaking Benin] [Martine] Now - Born again! - [David] To complete the initiation, I enter a fragrant circle of baby powder with special effects.
[locals singing] [David] So now it’s official.
I’m a voodoo disciple.
Thron’s looking out for me.
For the rest of my life, he’s got my back.
It’s been an unusual and unsettling ritual, but I feel great.
I’m dancing, which is very weird for me.
Thron is a kind spirit.
But apparently voodoo has more than one spirit, and not all of them are peaceful.
Martine says she’ll show me an angry one.
The next day, Martine takes me out onto the waters of Lake Nokoue, a place that tourists don’t often see.
In the 17th century, the slave trade was booming in West Africa.
One tribe, the Tofinu, fled from marauding slave traders and took refuge on the lake.
Five hundred years later, 20,000 of their descendants still live here in a floating town on stilts called Ganvie Island.
It’s nicknamed the Venice of Africa.
[Martine] I’m taking you to a voodoo ceremony, but that is [David] Before we head in, Martine gives me a warning.
[Martine] I want you to hold your breath because I want you to see the different voodoo.
The ones that we are going to see now, they are a little bit violent because they are the protectors.
They protect people against witchcraft, against evil.
- [David] Violent, did you say? - Yeah, violent.
[Martine] This is the Temple of Kokou, and I can tell you - that Kokou is a very strong spirit.
- Right.
You are going to see, but just be calm.
It’s going to be okay.
[David] Even Martine seems nervous.
The Ganvie islanders worship a god here called Kokou, and he has a thirst for human blood.
As we arrive, they're summoning his spirit to possess them, and it doesn’t take long.
- [local drums and singing] - [locals chattering] [David] People start going into trances, and once possessed, Kokou throws their bodies around and makes them harm themselves.
- [drums continue] - [locals chattering] [David] Everything feels completely chaotic and unhinged and dangerous.
Possessed followers are running violently into each other and us.
- [drums playing] - [locals shout] [David] There’s a gathering of believers in the shrine.
I want to see what’s going on, but don't want to be in the way.
- Shall see what’s happening inside? - Don’t get inside.
I don’t want you to be possessed.
[local drums continue] [David] Then the followers bring out knives and start slashing themselves.
The knives aren’t razor sharp, but they’re still hitting themselves hard, and definitely drawing blood.
This seems completely out of control.
- [drums continue] - [locals shout] [David] The possessed descend on us.
Martine and I are pulled reluctantly into the ceremony.
- [drums continue] - [people shout] [David] It’s frightening.
I don’t want my own voodoo scars.
And Kokou isn’t satisfied with just knife slicing.
Fucking hell.
No one seems to know what’s going on, even Martine.
Here's another bottle.
The main ceremony is over, but Kokou isn’t finished yet.
[locals shout] [David] One renegade devotee fails to come out of his trance and starts improvising his self-harm worship with a concrete block.
Scared he’s going to do serious harm to himself or to others, his unpossessed friends intervene.
[locals fighting] [locals speaking Benin] [tapping his back] [David] Judging by his scars, he’s a devoted worshipper of Kokou.
Once things have settled down, Martine wants to know how I feel about this completely different side of voodoo.
I was ready to run, Martine, don’t you worry.
Yeah, okay.
No, I was worried a little bit, but it's fine.
[both laugh] - Oh, my goodness.
- Yeah, yeah.
- Thanks for bringing me here.
- You’re welcome.
I'm happy.
I was happy to share this experience with you.
That helps you to understand a bit more about the culture, you know? - [David] I think I like your god better.
- Me too! - [Martine chuckles] - [jingling] [David] We leave Ganvie.
I’ve discovered that voodoo is not what I expected.
It’s a religion with many different spirits that can help you.
Some are peaceful.
Some are angry.
Good old Thron will sprinkle baby powder on you, while Kokou will smash a bottle over your head.
One thing they have in common is that they all love a bit of blood.
For my next stop, I head almost 5,000 kilometers south to South Africa, and its largest city, Johannesburg.
Most tourists come through here on their way to the safari parks, but they don’t stick around for long.
Many are put off by stories of how dangerous it is here.
But that’s exactly why I’ve come.
Roughly 20 million South Africans live in squalid and supposedly crime-ridden shanty towns called townships, and I’ve heard you can take a tour.
Alexandra has a fearsome reputation as a lawless ghetto.
I’m keen to find out if that reputation is justified, and what it’s really like to live there.
I’m a little on edge as we start out, and I’m not reassured by our security guard.
If I came back here on my own at night, would that be Would I be fine, do you think? - No.
At night? - That wouldn't work? It’s too dangerous.
Are you carrying a gun with you? - Yes, I have.
- Can I see where it is, or no? [chuckles] Briefly.
You don’t need to pull it out.
Oh, that’s there, just resting in there, okay.
So if stuff goes wrong, - you're ready for action? - Yes, I am ready for action.
Okay.
[David] So far, it’s living up to its reputation.
Our tour is about to start, led by a local guide, Jeff.
My mother is Zulu, and then my father is Venda, so I’m South African.
I speak all the languages.
[David] And it’s on bikes.
- [David] Oh, it's so strange.
Yeah.
- [Jeff] Very strange.
[David] Jeff's keen to point out that, despite the humble surroundings, there’s greatness in Alexandra.
People like Mr Nelson Mandela, they arrived this was the first place they arrived.
Mr Nelson Mandela came here in 1941.
His uncle - Nelson Mandela lived here? - Nelson Mandela lived here.
- It's his house.
- This was the first place he lived in.
[David] Before we set off, us dark tourists introduce ourselves and say why we"re here.
I’ve never done a slum tour before in any country, - so I’m curious to see what it’s like.
- [Jeff] Welcome to Alex.
Thank you.
[David] I’ve blundered! "Slum tour" isn’t exactly how Jeff is marketing his business.
[David] Jeff, I accidentally called it a slum tour before.
- Yeah.
- Sorry about that.
- [David] That’s deeply offensive.
- [Jeff]Well, almost.
[David] Obviously, we’ve got you with us, so it’s safe us biking around with you, but if we were walking here on our own, would we be fine, or would that be an issue? [Jeff] It’s like any other place, right? It’s your behavior that motivates the crime, right? You wouldn't go around showing your iPhone, “I’ve got an iPhone, yeah!” - They will take it away from you.
- Yeah, that would be idiotic.
[Jeff] It’s the mindset.
It's the perception is what people say.
I think the more people come to Alexandra, the more people come to South Africa, the more people understand and see how it is.
[David] As we cycle deeper into the township, I’m starting to see things a bit differently.
It’s definitely a poor place, but there’s a vibrant community bustling in and out of these corrugated iron homes.
[David] It’s way more chilled out than I thought it would be.
Really chilled.
Everyone's very welcoming, accommodating.
Even though we look like idiots - riding around on bicycles.
- Yeah, riding on bikes.
A troop of white tourists riding around on their bicycles.
[David] As a white guy riding in a convoy through a black township, I feel a little self-conscious, but everyone is so relaxed and friendly.
I’m not scared any more.
In fact, everyone seems welcoming.
[chattering] [David] We’re at our final stop, Jeff’s house, where he lets everyone have a peek inside.
You can see my house.
Go in.
[calling his wife] - [man] Thank you very much.
- Yeah.
[David] Jeff’s wife cheerfully accommodates us traipsing through their tiny, one-room home.
[speaking their language] Oh, God, another tour coming through.
- Better get dressed.
- Yeah.
[David] The cycle tour has proven to me townships are safer than their reputation.
But I wonder if I’ve had a sanitized experience.
The other side, at the end there, that’s the end of Alexandra.
Jeff rises to the challenge and takes me off the tourist trail to see something called spinning.
[tires screeching] [David] This is more like it.
Spinning began back in the 1980s, when gangsters brought back stolen cars to the townships and spun them around in graveyards to honor their dead.
[tires screeching] [David] I’m told these days it’s become a popular spectator sport.
And they celebrate by doing crazy tricks inside and outside of their vehicles to entertain the crowd.
They're just showing off.
It’s all about showing off.
That’s the whole point of spinning.
[David] And people hear it and just come running in, right? [Jeff] They all come in as soon as they hear the spinners.
They flood in from all around the community.
- Yeah.
- I love it.
[David] And it’s no longer just the gangsters who spin cars.
- This is Stacey.
 She’s a hero here, right? - She is the hero in this town, yeah.
[David] Stacey-Lee May is also known in spinning circles as the Queen of Smoke.
- [tires screeching] - [crowd shouting] [locals whistling] [David] She’s 21 years old and she's the most un-gangster-looking person you could meet.
When she’s not doing this, she’s studying Law.
Stacey! Stacey! - You’re amazing.
That was terrifying.
- It wasn’t terrifying.
It was fun.
Is it sort of weird to you that spinning started out of this kind of It was people that were stealing stuff, and they'd celebrate by doing this, - but now it's something different.
- Spinning is more of a family thing now, which is amazing because now you can take your family and watch spinning.
It’s not illegal and it’s not unsafe.
It's 100% safe.
The bit where you get out of the window and you're almost touching the ground.
- The suicide slide.
- You just casually do that now and then.
How long did it take you to perfect that technique? - It took me about two minutes, I guess.
- [both chuckle] - [disco music playing] - [car horns] [David] Stacey tells me there’s a competition that night and I might be able to ride with her.
In the meantime, Jeff takes me for a beer to show me the township nightlife.
[people chattering] [David] This local spot is known for its barbecue meat and Sunday drinking and dancing sessions.
- Are you always so happy? - Yeah! [David] It’s cool.
Like nowhere I’ve been before.
I’ve almost forgotten that I’m still in the so-called danger zone.
[people wowing and whistling] People still say that the township is unsafe, you know.
Don’t go to the township.
You must carry your gun.
- [David] Yeah, that’s all I heard.
- Yeah.
No, that’s really nonsense.
Well, what I've learned from your tour coming here is that Alex is not as dangerous as it’s made out to be.
[cars roaring] [David] But danger can still be found, as Jeff takes me to meet Stacey at a local arena.
The Queen of Smoke is making good on her promise and I’m riding shotgun, probably the scariest thing I’ve done all day.
All right.
- [people cheering and whistling] - [car roaring] Thank you.
Thanks, guys.
[random guy] Thank you, guys.
[David] Stacey seemed really confident this afternoon, but now she’s praying.
[car roars] [tires start screeching] [heavy metal music playing] [David] Shit! This is way scarier than I’d expected, but kind of exhilarating.
- [car roars] - [tires screeching] [David] I didn’t know what to think when I came to Alexandra.
I’d expected a dangerous, uncomfortable experience, but we were welcomed with open arms.
Like spinning, Alexandra has changed.
Both had edgy beginnings, but both have moved on.
Spinning is now a spectator sport, and Alexandra has become a vibrant, unique community.
I’m glad I came.
Next, I’m traveling 600 kilometers further south, right to the geographic heart of South Africa.
I’ve heard there are groups of separatists who are opting out of the new, multicultural nation.
South Africa used to have an infamous system of racial segregation called apartheid.
The system collapsed in 1991.
That same year, a small faction of white Afrikaners fled to a town in the middle of nowhere, called Orania, to preserve their culture and identity, apart from the rest of the country.
I want to know what a group of Afrikaner extremists looks like.
I’d heard there are tours of Orania so I booked one in.
Why did you choose to come to Orania, out of all the places you could go to in South Africa? Oh, I think it’s lovely.
Clean and and safe and all that.
- It’s like we’re going back in the past.
- It's like you've traveled back in time.
- In time, yes.
- A little bit.
All the towns used to be at this standard.
[David] I wonder if they might be a little nostalgic for the days of apartheid.
and come to a place like this and see it relives again makes a man proud.
[David] The tourists seem to love this place, but I want to meet the locals.
I find some down at the river.
[locals chattering] I’m curious to find out why they choose to live in a town with no black people.
What was it that drew you here? [water movement] The peace, the quietness, the cultural inheritance we have.
Yeah, and we want to preserve it.
[David] Everyone’s really careful about what they say.
I’m going to need to be more direct.
Do you miss seeing more black faces when you walk down the street around here? I mean, yeah, of course, you don’t see as much black people here as you would have seen in Johannesburg, but [people chattering] they are not as densely populated here.
[David] That’s a bit of an understatement, and I feel like I’m not getting the whole truth.
That evening, I head to a local bar to try and get an uncensored version.
[Afrikaans folk rock] [pool balls thumping] [David] It reminds me of an American roadhouse, except the patriotic folk rock is in Afrikaans.
What do you love about Orania? What do you love about this place? - What’s your buzz? - [people chattering] I love the culture here [David] More talk about preserving culture ironically from a guy wearing a T-shirt with one black fish in a sea of white fish.
But it’s hard to ignore the white elephant in the room, that this is about color and race.
It’s clear no one here is going to mention those words.
[folk rock continues] [David] But off camera, some locals tell me that if I’m looking for real Afrikaner extremists, I should check out a group called the Suidlanders.
Off the tourist trail, I head up north to an old gold mining city in the West Rand called Randfontein.
I find out the Suidlanders are a religiously-inspired group that predict the total collapse of South African society.
They believe the black majority will rise up against white South Africans.
So they’re planning a massive evacuation.
I’m prepping for anarchy.
This place is a ticking time bomb.
[David] I want to find out who these people are and what they expect is going to happen so I’ve arranged to meet some of them.
[knocking on fence] - Hello? Hi, there.
- [lady] Hi.
- How’s it going? I love your gate.
- Thank you very much.
[David] Elizabeth and her husband, Franz, live in a modest home crisscrossed with barbed wire.
It’s just a suburban house, but it’s run more like a fortress.
I can’t just open my front door.
I’ve got to go out and check who's outside.
- You had to check that I was at that gate.
- I come and check who is at my gate before I can open any gate.
You see the gate, the barbed wire? That’s how we live.
- Dominique.
Nice to meet you.
- You are - Daughter.
- You’re the - Oldest daughter - Nice to meet you.
- You're a Suidlander as well? - Yes.
Right.
So you all are.
There’s no one in the family that's not.
- No.
- There's no one that's not on board.
- That would be awkward.
- Quite.
Is it a stressful position to be in, to have this kind of looming battle overhead, you know, not too far in the future.
When are we talking? - Absolutely - It could be tomorrow.
It could be in two months.
It could be in a year.
That's how we live.
We live from day to day.
I mean, our life has become one great big home invasion.
[David] Franz is keen to show me how prepared they are for the day of reckoning.
He has a ton of food supplies to last them a whole year on the run.
- [David] What’s this? Dried something? - [Franz] Yeah.
- This is cabbage.
You know, carrots.
- Is there a chance that this won’t happen, that life will just settle down and everything will be - No.
- okay? No.
Do you ever think about getting out of the country completely? - No.
- We can’t.
Can’t afford it, or just impractical, or you want to stay? I want to stay because this is my land.
- This is where we belong.
- This is my country.
[David] They have been building up supplies for years, and now they're fully equipped to flee.
The call to evacuate could come at any moment.
Yes.
[David] That might be the evacuation coming in now.
- Hopefully not.
[chuckles] - Let’s hope not.
We’re just going to look at some plants.
[David] Everything is designed to be relocated, even the garden.
So it’s like you're going to go and colonize Mars.
You take everything.
I find it all incredibly stressful thinking about it.
But that’s just a fact for you.
- This is what’s going to happen.
- Absolutely.
[David] I feel like Franz is prepping for a zombie apocalypse.
They're first going to start taking everything and breaking everything and burning it.
- So there will be a lot of stuff on fire.
- Before the Yeah.
So we can't say when what is going to happen, but - But you know shit's going to go down.
- I know for a fact it should have happened already.
[David] Living in fear 24/7 has got to take its toll on you, emotionally.
Like I say, it’s heart-wrenching.
Got to give up everything.
As long as we get out to the other side alive, that’s all that counts.
Yeah.
Like I say, if we don’t make it that's it, but I really want my kids to make it.
[birds tweeting] It’s heavy stuff to think about.
[lady sobs] [David] I’m starting to feel a little sorry for them, prisoners in their own home, waiting for doomsday.
I wonder how it’s all going to work for the Suidlanders, practically speaking, when doomsday finally arrives.
Tomorrow, they’ve got a crisis training exercise planned which will involve a mass evacuation.
So the next day, I’ve come back to go along for the ride.
Have to get used to these razor wire fences.
Hello.
[David] And the emergency text has just come through.
Everyone’s in the evacuation zone.
[David] Are we getting stuff ready? I guess we are.
Let me know if I can help with anything.
I’m a pair of hands.
[David] Franz is fully occupied.
He’s not interested in small talk with me.
I've got it.
[David] Out here? [David] I can’t imagine this uprising ever happening, but it seems deadly serious for them.
You didn’t choose light things.
[David] Doomsdays are usually violent.
Franz was coy about whether they were bringing any weapons along, but I have my suspicions.
- Right, I’ll get the sleeping bags.
- Thank you.
Chickens are going.
What happens to the animals in the evacuation? Would they come with? - I doubt it.
- They'll probably stay behind? No.
I won’t let them stay behind alive.
I will put them down.
Oh, really? I would rather leave them behind dead than what they'll go through if anybody else gets these people get their hands on them, yeah.
[David] Poor Jess, the sausage dog, has no idea there’s no room for her in the new world they're forging.
[David] Hope he wasn’t listening, with those big ears.
[David] Before we can leave, there’s an impromptu family prayer huddle.
[lady sobs] Dear Jesus, you know what's ahead of us.
[Lady sobs] Please dear Jesus, let us get there safely.
[Lady sobs] We praise you for that thank you, amen.
[David] The Suidlanders are a Christian offshoot who follow a hundred-year-old prophecy that predicts white genocide.
Okay.
[David] Their prophet had a vision of a husband and wife in Johannesburg escaping with their lives to the sounds of bloodcurdling screams.
For believers like Franz and Elizabeth, it could well be them.
We’re finally on the road to join up with a convoy of other Suidlanders rehearsing their escape from the uprising.
- You got quite emotional in there.
- Yeah.
[lady] It's reason for me to get emotional because tomorrow, the real call can come through.
[David] Are we talking about non-Afrikaans people, or blacks or whites or - What sort of people are we expecting? - The blacks.
Yeah.
[David] Before I have time to figure out how to reply, it appears that the planning has gone drastically wrong with the rest of the convoy.
[Franz whistles] We’re just waiting for all the cars to turn around.
They're facing the wrong direction.
This can’t be happening.
[David] Franz is embarrassed, the entire convoy is facing backwards in the direction of where the rioting black people are meant to be.
It’s a serious error that could cost lives if this was the real thing.
Elizabeth is frustrated.
[David] As you see things slowing down, you see your family being killed, essentially.
Yes.
We can’t afford stops like this.
I’m going to scream at somebody.
[speaking through woki toki] [David] The convoy hiccup has put the Suidlanders behind schedule, and suddenly word comes back from the head of the convoy that there might be trouble up ahead.
[David] What’s happening here? What’s going on, John? [speaking Afrikaan] Are we just stopping to check the group, or is something happening? [speaking Afrikaan] [David] But we’re given the all clear.
It seems this man is not part of the uprising after all.
[David] Just a guy going on a walk.
Yeah.
[David] I’m a little underwhelmed.
I keep forgetting we’re supposed to be fleeing a race war apocalypse, and I still don’t know where we’re meant to be going.
It’s a pretty ramshackle series of events, and I’m thinking they probably need a few more practice runs.
[lady speaking Afrikaan] [David] The convoy stops again, and I’m wondering what’s gone wrong now.
- [men shouting] - [lady screaming] [David] Bro [David] One of the women from the car ahead has been kidnapped by a masked upriser.
[David] So they’ve taken your husband.
[David] Franz has gone to help, but it looks like he's been captured too.
But this is all part of the Suidlanders' apocalyptic role-playing, and Elizabeth knows exactly what to do.
- So these guys are with us? - These guys are with us in our convoy.
Send in the cavalry, armed with paintball guns.
- [gushots] - Fucking hell! [men shouting] It’s really fucking loud.
[David] It’s more like a weird stag party than role-playing the end of the white race in South Africa.
The Suidlanders annihilate a remarkably small number of uprisers in no time at all.
[men shouting] I’m keen to go and help save Franz.
I don’t want to get paintballed.
Are there paintballs around here? Shit, Francis.
You’re not Francis.
[David] But there’s no need, as Franz has rescued himself.
He’s a real Boer action hero, and has helped to get the wounded lady out.
[David] Successful extraction? - She’s safe and we’re out of here? - [Franz] Okay, right.
Let's go.
[David] Kidnapping foiled, the convoy gets back on the road.
- [speaking Afrikaan - [car door slams]] [David] After four more hours, we reach a camp in the middle of a field in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
[David sighs] All right, we’re here.
Safety, finally.
[David] We have finally arrived at the great, white promised land.
But it feels more like a church picnic than the apocalypse complete with family barbecues and an inspirational sermon.
Are you ready for destruction, boys? Are you ready for destruction, boys? [David] And I can see where Franz and Elizabeth get their ideas from.
[Man] When that destruction comes Our people will awaken, and inspire nationalism and patriotism Don't lose your faith.
The day will come! The day will come, as sure as I am standing here! The day will come when he will hear our prayers! [David] As night falls, everyone celebrates escape from the black uprising around a campfire, where they sing the old national anthem from the days of apartheid.
It’s been strange role-playing a race war.
The Suidlanders are obviously really scared.
But what they’re worried about seems such a far cry from the welcome I felt in Alexandra.
I wonder why they don’t all just move to Orania.
At least then Jess, the sausage dog, might get to live another day.
[continue singing their anthem]