Tag Archives: Nelson Mandela

The University of Fort Hare

Fort Hare staff members marching against the Bantu Education Act, 1958

The University of Fort Hare, possibly South Africa’s most famous educational institution, has had something of a checkered past. Opened in 1916 as the South African Native College by Christian missionaries, the school offered a European-style education for students from across sub-Saharan Africa. While the missionaries were part of colonial expansion, which came with its own set of prejudices, they did […]

Oliver Reginald Tambo

Oliver Tambo speaking at an ANC solidarity event

The month of May is celebrated in South Africa as Africa Month, and this year the theme, ‘The Year of O.R. Tambo: Building a Better Africa and a Better World’, recognises the vision of the great anti-apartheid revolutionary, who would have turned 100 in October. While the name O.R. Tambo is now synonymous with jet setting travellers, it is really […]

The Freedom Charter & the 1956 Treason Trial

Protesters gather outside the Drill Hall on the opening day of the Treason Trial, 19th December 1956

The Congress of the People took place on the 26th June 1955, in Kliptown, just outside of Johannesburg. Attended by some 3000 people, the aim of the meeting was to discuss the content of the proposed Freedom Charter, with submissions for the document having been received from people all across the country. The Freedom Charter, some of the core tenets […]

Christmas Day on Robben Island

Inmates playing soccer on Robben Island

Three years ago this Christmas the movie, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom had its international premier. In an interview with Huffington Post at the time, Saths Cooper reflected on the years that he spent on Robben Island with Mandela, and specifically how they spent the holiday season. Cooper, a member of the Black Consciousness Movement and former resident […]

The Robben Island Bible

The 'Robben Island Bible'

The wonderful thing about history is that it provides the most fascinating stories – factual tales that are often more interesting and convoluted than the best spy novels! Himalaya House, still standing today at 165 Julius Nyerere Avenue, is where we begin today’s story, for it was here, in Durban’s first high-rise apartment block, that a number […]