Tandi Cuningham's guide to South Africa

Learning more about South Africa from the country´s players ahead of this month´s South African Women´s Open at Southbroom Golf Club.

 

Tandi in action during the Lalla Meryem Cup

Tandi Cuningham belongs to a group of 11 LET players from South Africa and joined the tour in 2009. She is hoping to give herself a fantastic birthday present on 17th April next week by winning her first LET title at the South African Women's Open! Find more information about Tandi here.

Where are you born and where is it exactly in the country?

I was born in Johannesburg and it is located inland in the province of Gauteng.

Tell us more about where you were born

Johannesburg is known as the Central Business District and is the hub of our economy. It is 1800 feet above sea level and because of that, the golf ball flies 10% further than it would at the coast as the air is thinner.  I grew up on a small farm holding and have always lived in Jo’Burg. Johannesburg is best known for its food, exciting things to do and night life.

What is the best thing about your country?

The best thing about South Africa I would have to say is the way of life we have. Our weather makes it easy for us to be very active outdoors, our diversity of landscape offers so much in the form of camping, hiking, fishing, boating, sports and day trips and we have a wonderful variety of food and culture. We live a very privileged lifestyle in my opinion compared to most of the places I have seen.

 

Tandi enjoying outdoors activities
two hours north of Johannesburg at a Boating Club

Give some examples of the traditions from your home town/area that you like or love doing

I love to go camping and boating. It is something I do when I am back home every chance I get. Again as our weather is so good almost all year round, it makes spending time around a camp fire until the early hours of the morning with friends quite enjoyable. It is our weekend fun getaway.

 

The Boating Club

Tell us something about any of your festivities, what do you do and where do you go?

I would not really call it a festivity but it is very common to arrange a braai (barbeque) at someone’s house and invite all your friends and family along when there is a big rugby game on. 

Your favourite place in your country and why

This much sound very cliché but I love my home. I have so much fun when I am there that it is hard to find anything better.

Typical food and drinks from your area that you love

South Africa in general is well known for its great steaks and meat but you have to look very hard to find a better steak than what you get in Johannesburg. A typical drink that is very common but not one my personal favourites is called, “Klippies and Coke” which in essence is Brandy and Coke and very popular! It is also nicknamed “Karate Water” for obvious reasons.

If you like cooking, what typical food from your country do you like to cook?

I make a regular meal on a Monday night which is Lamb shank, mash potatoes and Spinach. I also make a good stew and curry when the occasion calls for it, although that is more of a winter dish. Summer time we eat lots of salads and cold dishes.

Be our travel guide... what places would you recommend us to visit in your country and things to do?

If you have the chance and the time, Cape Town is a must. Table Mountain, False Bay and wine farms are just brilliant to see. Durban is great for its beaches and warm water and if you are very brave, you can even attempt a dive in a shark cage. Johannesburg is a shopping mecca and has so many beautiful championship golf courses to choose from.

We would like to know your traditions… What’s your typical weekend?

A typical weekend for me would be packing the car on Friday morning and heading north to our favourite camping spot. Arriving, unpacking, pitching the tent and then launch the boat. We ski until the sun sets and then start a camp fire. We would then Braai and stay up all night talking, dancing or playing board games with friends. Get up early Saturday, ski and sun tan all day long and repeat the events from Friday night. Sunday we have one last ski, pack up and head back home….exhausted!

Which is the most popular sport in your country? Give us an example of how popular it is. What about golf and women’s golf?

Soccer is the most popular sport in South Africa and I can justify this as we have 5 television Sports channels dedicated to it! Golf is the Fourth most popular sport following Rugby and Cricket.

What are your favourite sports and teams that you support? Do you attend any games?

I enjoy rugby, cricket and cycling. I support all our local teams and have attended various matches and games.

What about surfing in South Africa? Do you surf, did you surf at school and how good are you?

No, I have not tried surfing so I cannot comment if I would be any good at it! Normally its people that live on the coast that all surf. Us inland people like to ski!

 

Tandi water skiing on a dam!

Who is your favourite celebrity/personality/idol from your country that you are really proud of and why? (It could be a politician, scientist, actor, musician...)

 

I have a few favourite local musicians that I enjoy, namely:  Watershed, Yoav , Just Ginger and Euphonic. I also quite like the Comedian called  Michael Naicker.

Who is your favourite golf player from your country? And sportsmen/women?

My favourite Golfer would have to be Ernie Els, I think he has the most effortless and beautiful swing.

What do you miss from home when you come to Europe to play?

I miss my boyfriend like mad! Then I would have to say my family, friends and our food.

Is there something unusual from your country that you could explain to us?

South Africa has 11 official languages. Mostly because we have so many diverse cultures but the main language is English.

Are you familiar with stories and legends of your country or region?

Yes I am familiar with a few but one story that does stand out for me is the legend of the Tokoloshe. The Tokoloshe is a 2 foot high river demon in African culture and he apparently comes into your house at night while you sleep and sits on your chest, giving you severe pain the next day when you wake up. He is also known for stealing young children from their beds. It is very common then for the Africans to put their beds on bricks so that he can apparently not climb onto it as he is so short.

SA has 11 official languages. Which one do you speak normally? What are your favourite South African sayings?

I speak English mainly but I can also speak Afrikaans. I think a very common South African saying is, “Howzit?” when you greet someone or when you say good bye and you know you will see that person later, you say, “see you now now”…..most of the European girls gives us South Africans a hard time about that one!

Article from Ladies European Tour:
http://www.ladieseuropeantour.com/main_article.php?id=64811&pid=1005
Published: 11/04/2013

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