Is It Okay To Visit or Play Sun City Now?


For your ’80s Throwback Thursday, there was wave of charity singles in the wake of “We Are The World” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. The lesser know and forgotten of these was Artists United Against Apartheid, spearheaded by E Street Band guitarist and future Sopranos actor Stevie Van Zandt.

The basic premise was that several well-known artists like Elton John, Queen, Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Cher and Liza Minelli were playing the South African resort and casino Sun City during the height of apartheid and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. At the same time, the United Nation urged cultural boycotts of South Africa during the mid-80s.

As a protest to those artists, Van Zandt gathered some big names for the protest song “Sun City”. See if you can spot the major players in the video, which was directed by Jonathan Demme.

Bono’s hair has seen better days. Bruce Springsteen, The Fat Boys, Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Hall & Oates (separately), Run-D.M.C., George Clinton, Pat Benatar and Ringo Starr just add to the randomness of the video. They don’t make charity singles like they use to these days.

It took nine years for apartheid to end after the single was released in 1985. Bruce and Co. eventually played South Africa.

Now that I’m going to Johannesburg next month, should I visit Sun City resort? If I’m going to play anything at Sun City, it would be the slots and I haven’t gambled in years. Gambling is a tax on stupidity because you’ll loose.

Looking at their website, here’s what I can do:

  • Golf … I don’t golf
  • Waterpark … too much kid’s pee in the water
  • Shopping … I’m not traveling halfway around the world to shop at the Gap
  • Adventure/Extreme sports .. Zip lines and bungee jumps, things you can do anywhere in the world
  • Pilanesberg National Park … the “Big Five”.

The verdict, Pilanesberg National Park is a possibility, and I’ll skip the side trip to the resort. Kruger National Park is the more popular reserve in South Africa.

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