Mandela Land: Utopia and Phobia

Mandela Land: Utopia and Phobia

Photos: Sulaiman Haider

At 9 a.m. on a summer day we flew to Dubai, the transit point between Kuwait international airport and Johannesburg airport in South Africa. At midday we continued our flight from the Arabian Peninsula to the edges of the African continent. Unlike the dust which characterizes Arabian Gulf costal cities in summer, it was a clear sky as we were overflying Somalia and beyond to the Kenyan coast, showing the wild features of the black continent : desert, mountains, highlands and pastures, along with valleys which were rivers before they dried. About halfway through the 8.5h - trip it was already dark, as if reminding me of the colour of the continent we were overflying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and an outside temperature of 68?C, as shown on the flight information screen. But as we approached Johannesburg airport the city lights looked like trees of light forming an endless carpet. I wondered whether freedom had lit the country which suffered long, as did electricity lifting darkness in the final hours. The answer wasn t easy, as I had in a few days to explore the country which is celebrating the 16th anniversary of the collapse of the apartheid regime.

It was as if I had an appointment with him. Nelson Mandela was on board with us. I spent more than one and a half hours watching a film starring Morgan Freedom in the leading role of Mandela during his first days as the first black president after winning the first free election in South Africa. The film sounded like a fairy tale depicting the ideals of this extraordinary man, who used to read poetry to alleviate the hardships of 26 years in prison on Robben Island, inspired by poetry to make dreams come true.

However, the film I watched was nothing but an introduction to the real world, for, as I arrived, many things associated with Mandela were heard and seen everywhere: his words, pictures, memorabilia and statues. It was then that I realized I was in Mandela Land, although the country was extremely busy preparing for the World Cup within two weeks. Nobody forgot Mandela s role in bringing this golden icon to the stadiums of the African continent for the first, probably the last time in our life.

At Johannesburg airport, which wriggles like a big worm, we went to an information desk and asked a tall, black young man with a smiling face about available hotels, interrupting his conversation with an older white man. We usually choose a hotel with easy access to all parts of a city we are visiting, but this time we wanted a hotel at city centre. The white man was astonished and said to us, I don t advise you to do that. It s sheer danger. The young man suggested that we rent a villa in the northern district. (We later knew it is a whites district). My colleague Sulaiman Haidar and I took up the suggestion, particularly as we knew that the villa s owner would be our driver and guide during our stay in the city. A little while afterwards, a driver named Kenneth took us to the villa, which was just 15 minutes drive from the airport, and an hour s drive from the city centre, if there is no traffic jam, as he said!

In the northern district

The place we went to had wide streets with walled villas on both sides. As we reached the villa the driver opened the remote-control gate, then came Hector, the villa s owner, a fat black young man, with whom we talked until midnight, after which we drew up a timetable for our visits in and around Johannesburg. The district was quitet, and I began to feel safe, in contrast to the white man s warning. I switched the TV on and watched an interesting programme called Third Class , presented by a blonde, discussing a single topic: Is the apartheid era over? The episode showed a white man giving the cameraman a violent blow because he was angry at a question the presenter asked him. The racist man, who was still wearing a shirt carrying the flag of the apartheid era, was later arrested and heavily fined!

In a commercial after the programme, a broadcaster invited various people to maintain life assurance saying, This young man will find someone to look after his parents when he dies ... This man shouldn t worry as the insurance payout will cover the expenses of his daughter s French learning when he has passed away. Everybody-young and old-should die after having had life assurance, because a certain company will make them rest assured in their graves that the insurance payout, which amounts up to a million rand, will cover all the expenses they can t afford as alive!

I read a paper on board. Most papers here are in English the country s commercial language; only a few are in the other eleven official tribal languages. The main story was about the murder of a white farmer. Another page carried an apology by a newspaper for publishing abusive drawings of the Prophet (pbuh), falsely arguing that the followers of other religions have a sense of humour as far as their prophets are concerned, claiming that it didn t mean to hurt Muslims feelings.

It was past midnight as I tried to sleep, but guard dogs barks disturbed me. I awaited daybreak to see for myself what the media claims and made me astonished, as the country was receiving World Cup footballers and fans within a few days, and in the absence of peace and security it will not be a utopia but will rather suffer from phobia (fear).

The road to Soweto

Johannesburg (pronounced Joburg here) was founded a century and a few years ago. It was born with a gold spoon in its mouth, because its builder wanted to serve gold prospectors. (Gold was discovered in South Africa in 1871). Remnants of that era on the road to the city are just barracks, which look like chicken and rabbit breeding boxes. Gold miners lived here. Women were not allowed in. There is no gold mining in the city any more, but it continues outside it, said Hector, pointing to a cluster of stone cubes which look like houses because of their cell like narrow windows. Johannesburg is no longer one city. It probably rose with gold, but it now stretches everywhere like an octopus.

Something astonished me as we were leaving the district: handsome villas, either separate or parts of compounds, surrounded by walls surmounted by barbed wire. The walls are spear-like columns; the wire is either circular as in trenches or strips usually with a sign showing it is electrically connected. The quiet and beauty of the district concealed mysterious fear. On pavements I saw something I ve never seen before: a red light crossing a circle meaning No Parking , and a drawing of a seller under an umbrella on a pavement. Not far from the sign I saw a number of casual sellers. The World Cup craze allowed them to sell flags, hats, vuvuzelas, etc.; other casual workers were just carrying painting, carpentry and agricultural tools.

In South Africa there are almost four million immigrants from Zimbabwe alone, most of whom are jobless and doing menial jobs. Here they are : men and women, said Hector. In the course of time we will find out there is a problem in South African-Zimbabwean relations, and even President Zuma s visit to Harare was questioned in the National Assembly. Zuma believes that he has to play a role in securing peace in Zimbabwe, Darfur and other African regions and, in conjunction with the African Union and the UN, conclude historic peace agreements. Zuma s interpellation took place while crowds in Durban, a South Africa port on the Indian Ocean, were cheering the Zimbabwean winner of southern Africa s marathon!

As we left the elegant districts on our way to Soweto we got used to seeing miserable immigrants, jobless and workers. Soweto has its own language, and its inhabitants are all blacks, most of whom live in poor one-room slums, with outside toilets. Though not white, we looked strange in Soweto, which is an exclusively black area, with its people engaged in menial jobs.

Near two tables we saw two girls selling traditional jewels and handicrafts. One of them introduced herself. My name is Samanta, I m a painter. These coloured cards are my work. I also do silk printing on cloth, she said, I looked at her works and imagined if she had been born in the other part of the city or if her parents had been rich, she would have been a famous artist, studying in Britain, presenting her works in Paris and selling them in New York. But Soweto was Samanta s destiny.

A few steps from Samaraa s sands a cylindrical memorial the top of which looks like Samanta s spiral minaret. Under its dome there is+ - a like window where a musician was playing sad tunes on the flute. On a cylindrical stone tale he put a plate for visitors to put some money on. I couldn t believe that the place which witnessed the signing of the agreement which ended the apartheid era has become a room for a poor musician.

Opposite a popular market you will find everything that reminds you of South Africa s jungles, animals, drawings and handicrafts. A memorial stands facing a large square over which a river surmounted by a bridge flows. The square was empty, except for a few passers-by on the bridge and a photographer who offered to take photos for us in front of the memorial to the student victims of demonstrations against apartheid. The students, who didn t tell their parents they would take part in the demonstrations, were all killed. Red water is still flowing under the small bridge, as if it were the boys blood shed by the racist police.

Soweto is an acronym for (South), (West) and (Township) , Hector said.

Once again Mandela appeared. Not all that s in Soweto is black. We ll go now to a street in which two Nobel peace laureates lived. The street is in the Guinness Book of Records. The two Nobel laureates are Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu, Hector said. We passed Tutu s house, which he occasionally lives in, that s why visitors are not allowed. Before we visited Mandela s house we drove past the house of his second wife, Winnie Mandela, who, we were told, was in Spain for the summer. Nelson Mandela s house has become a popular destination. It still contains a lot of memorabilia. The cement on the front conceals the marks left by police shots when Winnie was arrested. The house is filled with his pictures and those of his late children, daughter, who married a prince from Swaziland, wife and mother. The pictures made me experience Mandela s real life. We reached the tree which witnessed the birth of his children. The tree looked like an elderly s bent back. I was deep in throught for a while about Mandela s days before he came back to this house upon his release on 11 February 1990.

Mandela always dreamed, and believed his dreams. He was a real, ambitious leader, and we were of the hope that other leaders would have the same ambitions. He wanted to see a new Africa, and so did we. He had plans for a different world after the end of the cold war, apartheid and colonialism, which was our most important dream.

Apartheid Museum records the years of apartheid. Its style of architecture brings back memories of the people s harsh life. A room is filled with real, revived cards which allowed Europeans only to enjoy comfortable life. Enlarged cards related to South Africans punished if they stepped into forbidden areas. Opposite the place where the cards are kept sit a committee meting out punishments for violating police orders. Almost in tears, a black girl looked at the cards, probably looking for a relative behind history, walls and shackles a point in history that must have roots.

A day in the life of the Zulus

The aboriginal peoples of South Africa were the Khoikhoi, who were shepherds and hunters, and the Bushmen, who were only hunters. Anthropologically, both were similar to a great extent, but that was 40,000 years ago! At the start of the first millennium they became anthropologically more distinct as the Khoikhoi mixed with the Bantu, who were hunters and harvesters, and both became shepherds and immigrated south from present-day Potswana to the Cape of Good Hope.

The two groups co-exised and over the first millennium became settlers, breeding animals in sheds, growing barley, making metal hunting tools and pottery. They eventually lived in villages. KwaZulu- Natal appeared in the third century AD, the ancestors of the Zulus who lived in the Northern Province, Goting and Free State.

Centuries later, tribal immigrants moved to eastern South Africa where they established rural settlements, staged their industrial revolution in the 15th century and were engaged in gold and copper mining 25 metres underground. Athropologists today distinguish three tribes in this region: Zulu, Swazi and Khosa. I knew that Hector was a Zulu and so was his wife, but from a different family. Their daughter s name was Samiha. Hector suggested that we visit the village where he was born and lived until he got married, which I found an opportunity to have a closer look at the Zulus life.

We were received at the village by traditional dancers wearing colourful clothes and loud folkloric songs. A girl led us to a village where other four tribes lived surrounded by jungles. At a theatre at the entrance to the village we watched a film about life and civilization in southern Africa.

We visited Zulus, including spear makers. We also visited the other tribes among whom was a king married to three wives, each at least double his size. At the end of the tour the leader of the dance band invited the tribe chief to attend a dance show which concluded with the famous Dixie dance on the occasion of the World Cup. It was meal time. We had a heavy meal which consisted of crocodile and ostrich meat, chicken, fish, pumpkin, spinach, and rice, which was usually inflated. Sulaiman ate vegetables only, so did I in addition to ostrich breast. Hector tested everything.

On our way back to Johannesburg it was still the traditional atmosphere. We stopped at the magicians market where you find anything strange you think of: a stuffed monkey, a wolf s skeleton, snakeskin, a wild animal s tail, a bull s head with the eyes taken out, coloured stones, bundles of herbs, different kinds of powder, a lot of plastic containers and liquid-filled bottles. A woman asks the witch to help her regain her hsuband s love of her, and a man buys something to make his boss be kind to him. What we did was only taking some snapshots.

A the market corner stood a brawny black young man whom Hector wanted to protect us from the witches and wizards. But the witches whose shops we photographed chased after us asking for an extra payment. As Hector refused, the witch glared at each of us, as if murmuring some spells. Whenever we had a problem on the road we remembered the curse of that witch and laughed, but Hector said her witchcraft was limited to Johannesburg and its suburbs.

A brief historical outline

The spread of Islam in North Africa and the Balcans had blocked trade routes in the face of European merchants, which made the Spanish and the Portuguese look for sea routes to India away from the ports on the Mediterranean, which by the 15th century had become an Islamic lake. They focused on the Cape of Good Hope, near the southern extremity of the black continent as a safe haven for the spice trade, the most important commodity in the Middle Ages. The first West Europeans arrived there in 1487. Bartholomeu Dias led a three-ship flotilla which sailed round the Cape which he named Cabo da Boa Esperança . Ten years later, Vasco da Gama sailed round the same place before reaching India in 1498. In this way the Portuguese directed the attention to that naval treasure which soon afterwards attracted more powerful sailors. The 16th century witnessed British-Dutch conflict over the Cape which positioned itself on naval maps as a regular station between the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. In 1614, a Dutch East India Co. ship was wrecked off the rocks of Table Mountain. Insulated sailors lived in a castle they built on an island before being rescued by another Dutch flotilla.

The Dutch didn t intend to occupy the Cape and the area around it, but just wanted to secure their trade routes, which eventually turned into official occupation after the arrival of Jan Van Rebec at Table Bay on 16 April 1652. Trade was so prosperous that he had to find adequate manpower, so he imported slaves from Mozambique, Java (Indonesia) and Madagascar, who established their first settlements on Robben Island.

We said goodbye to Hector and flew to Cape Town which we arrived at in less than two hours despite high winds. A cheerful steward wearing. World Cup shirt instead of the traditional uniform, made us tolerate the severe turbulence during the flight which carried us to the oldest South African city where all races live: bareheaded European women, veiled Muslim women, Africans of mixed races, Arab journalists and aboriginal South Africans who are now ruled by Mandela s group of freedom fighters.

Up to 1745 the number of whites in the country was not more than one thousand. Dutch East India Co. had allowed citizens to build houses and engage in farming, but the company s grip loosened when they grew in number. They left the area for good, crossing River Olifants and reached Great Fish River, where they lived isolated in mud huts in their farms. They were previously called Trekboers (nomad farmers), but were later called Boers. They were isolated from European civilization in the 18th century resulting from the French Revolution and ideas of liberation and democracy. These Boers established the African lifestyle is terms of culture and practices. The same century witnessed the decline of Dutch power and the rise of British power which culminated in the invasion of the Cape in 1795 so as not to let it fall in the hands of the French in the Revolution euphoria. The British established a crown colony there consisting of 25,000 slaves ruled by 20,000 whites, assisted by 15,000 from the Khosa tribe and 1,000 freed black slaves.

The whites took full control of the Cape and started practising discrimination on grounds of colour. The British surrendered the colony to the Dutch in 1803, but in reaction to the Napoleonic Wars, decided to secure the Cape against the French and recaptured it three years later after defeating the Dutch, and the colony was permanently surrendered to the British on 13 August 1814.

In 1820, British immigrants began to form the new community starting with the east. The British wanted to expand their territory to be a central area between the Boer nomad farmers and the Khosa. Wars broke out then between the newcomers and the aboriginal inhabitants. In 1824 King Moshoi Shoi declared the creation of a new entity for the Basuto people. In the 1830s Boer warriors defeated the Zulus in the Blood River battle. The Boer Republic came into being in 1838, and six years later the British defeated the Khosa following the Great Herd massacre.

In 1860, Indians arrived in Transvaeal, where the Boers established their republic. Eight years later the British annexed Basutoland (present-day Lesotho) to their colonies. In 1869, diamond was discovered at Kimberly, near Johannesburg, and in 1871 gold was discovered in east Transvaal. In 1877, the British annexed the Boer Republic to their colonies. In 1881 the Boers defeated the British and Transvaal became known as the Republic of South Africa. Among the Indians who came to Natal was Mohandas Gandhi, who later led his people s campaign of disobedience against the British, part of which was the Salt March. In 1897 the British annexed the Kingdom of the Zulu to their colonies, and wars broke out between the British and the Boers in 1899-1902.

Setutu and Elizabeth: a tale of two women

Our guide in Cape Town was Setutu, a young woman born and educated at Soweto. In her post-teenage years she wanted to try a different sphere. Her mother objected, but at her daughter s insistence, agreed to send her to Cape Town, as her uncle, who was a priest there, would look after her if necessary. She met a fellow student at university in Cape Town and on the top of Chapman Mountain agreed to get married. She gave up her work in Johannesburg which she took up after graduation to get married in Cape Town, where she had a good job for two years, but when her daughter Olo was born she couldn t go back to work after maternity leave. She did media studies in Cape Town but couldn t secure a permanent job. She loved life in Cape Town, but never forgot she had a mother and an elder daughter in Johannesburg. I d like to satisfy one of two conflicting desires: to live in Cape Town, or to return to Johannesburg. Everything is OK here, but my husband can t afford family expenses alone, and I have no permanent job in spite of my daily applications for employment with companies working in my area of specialization. A lazy white women sometimes makes me do some writing work which she hates or probably because she wan t trained to do the job I had before giving birth to Olo, she said.

Finding a job in the media world is not easy in the light of fierce competition in a society still with marks of the past. In Cape Town you all but don t feel you re in South Africa. There is no sign of Mandela except on Robben Island and the botanical garden where there is a Mandela bust in a flower bed which he visited when he was president.

We visited Setutu s family home where they showed us her two wedding albums: the first, Western style wedding arranged by the family in Soweto; the second, Zulu and Khosa style wedding arranged by her new family in Cape Town, in traditional clothes. The bride didn t lift her eyes except to eat the meat and rice cooked by her mother-in-law, in contrast to the Western style wedding at which she and her husband kissed in public!

One day we walked along one of Cape Town s beaches where fish is sold at auction and fishermen s loud noise almost touches the wings of the seagulls hovering over them. At a handicraft shop there I met Liz, or Elizabeth, who comes from a family of settlers. She said she was happy in Cape Town, though she was born in Pretoria. She designs some handicrafts but the Chinese steal her designs and dump imitation ones in the market. Liz compared some handmade South African pottery icons with rubber ones. The imitation ones were perfect and cost only 10% of the price of the handmade ones. Surprised, I told her I bought some cups designed by her at Johannesburg airport, and she said her brother promoted her producs locally and abroad, but she didn t like to go to Johannesburg because, she said, it was a racist, noisy city. When she knew I m an Arab she said she promoted her products at an exhibition in Dubai, where she met an Egyptian lady who taught her Insha Allah, which she still remembers.

A fierce storm all but swept away some handicrafts, and Liz shouted to a black maid to be careful. We said goodbye to Liz and walked on the white sand, thinking about Setutu who was trying in vain to find a job at home to be with her daughter and husband, in contrast to Liz, who moved freely as if her white face were two wings crossing boundaries easily. Don t their stories sum up life in Cape Town?

Gogolito and Langa ... victims and suburbs

Setutu was very keen that we should see the other part of Cape Town, which she loved very much, before leaving it. Accordingly, we moved from the city centre to its edge through the two suburbs of Gogolito and Langa.

It was Sunday, and the place where blacks and coloureds live, gets crowded, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays and turns into a folkloric carnival with girls wearing brightly coloured clothes. Families and friends gather and have a barbeque. People of all races and ages dance, sing, drink and eat, with car radios and audiocassettes blaring out. They re trying to carry Soweto s atmosphere here. True, I don t like monotonous life, but it s extremely noisy here, Setutu said.

In one of Gogolito s houses, most of which are tinplate and wooden slums, we met a humble family. An adolescent boy hurried out and we followed him until he sopped at a tinplate hut, which is a videogame shop. The boy joined other boys who were playing and shouting in front of the camera. The local cemetery is a short distance away. The inhabitants miserable life isn t much different from that of the graves, I believe. In the context of the World Cup, the government promised them to provide houses in 2010, but the number of huts was more than the houses provided. We will probably wait for another World Cup to live in houses, a man complained.

In the crossroads between the suburb and the main road, we knew that it was the scene at which demonstrations against the apartheid regime started in Cape Town. We saw a memorial for seven young men killed in one of those demonstrations. Life in Langa is better; less huts, but more yet miserable houses. Crime is widespread involving the younger generations, who are out of work and so come here and commit drug trafficking and robbery led by organized crime networks. I remembered the houses in Johannesburg which do not show such fear as here, but I realized why: All houses in Cape Town are protected by round-the-clock security systems. However, it was false security; fear was hidden behind closed electrical circuits. It s a big prison operated by buttons and remote control. Once again, it was phobia under the guise of utopia.

All roads lead to Robben Island

An endless queue waiting to board the 260-passenger ferry. About 20 minutes later Sulaiman, Setutu and I were among the passengers after a thorough search as if we were boarding a plane bound for a European airport.

The ferry Freedom set sail at very high speed only outrun by that of seagulls in the horizon. Half an hour later the ferry slowed down and the film showing the island s history finished; we reached our destination. To my surprise, on board the ferry a bearded man sat with two veiled women, one of whom must have been his wife and the other could have been his daughter. I wondered why they travelled that distance to visit the island and Mandela s prison world. But I wasn t surprised any more when I knew that the three of them with another person were there to visit Karamat mausoleum, which holds the remains of a saint and is visited by scores of Muslims all week long. The mausoleum s green dome and thin minarets make it look like a mosque, as the black guide explained to a French tourist who mistook it for a mosque.

Please don t take anything even a pebble from the island. It s a world heritage site which must be preserved, the guide said. At the prison gate a round faced man, wearing glasses, a shirt and brown trousers and shiny shoes introduced himself. Tandomat was one of Mandela s prison inmates. He had his own story and was an eyewitness to Mandala s years in prison.

I was 19 when I joined a resistance movement in Soweto. I knew that apartheid police were hunting me. Using forged documents I fled to Lesotho, Angola and Zimbabwe where I stayed for five years. Upon my return home I was reported and arrested and I stood trial for three charges: leaving the country with forged documents, returning with forged documents, and joining a banned moevment. We went through hell before the trial. It s too difficult to describe how they treated us. They even arrested our girl and women comrades who suffered gruesome torture. I was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on Robben Island. We were driven in handcuffs into a vehicle which carried us from Johannesburg to Cape Town (1939 km), then we went by boat to Robben Island where a reception station stripped us off our names and we became numbers, said Tandomat, who held an enlarged copy of a card carrying a person s thumbprints, original name and given number.

I stopped long in front of Mandela s cell, as if hearing him reciting the poem which helped him tolerate 26 years suffering in a very narrow cell.

Freedom took us back to Cape Town, and on our way to the city centre we passed by a presidential palace, the residence of President Zuma and his three wives, which looked larger than Robben Island. Everybody is probably trying to make up for the past s bitterness. However, bitterness is still there on tongues and faces. I imagined Tandomat as he was 24 years old and how years in prison then freedom turned him into a historian. He was more in a monologue than a dialogue. Here was the toilet, Here we broke rocks as part of hard labour. The detainees in solitary confinement here were not allowed to talk to anybody, even prison warders , he said. That Tandomat was working as a guide at the prison where he lost his freedom for years astonished me, but it probably was self-induced peace. Setutu said quietly he was perhaps lucky to find a permanent job. True, many old inmates, including the current President Jacob Zuma, had joined the new government, but some are still jobless.

Tandomat is trying to overcome the phobia of imprisonment which cost him years of his life as a young man by the utopia of freedom as an old man. We went to the ocean and took a deep breath looking at the clouds which reflected as white bread off the level Table Mountain top. A question remains unanswered: Has utopia overcome phobia in Mandela Land?

(Translated by Dr Shaaban Afifi)


Ashraf Abul-Yazid


A view of Johannesburg from the fifty-first floor of Africa Tower, the tallest building in the black continent. High-rise cement cubes in the commercial centre hide the city’s poor district

A map of South Africa. A huge statue of its liberator Nelson Mandela in a square carrying his name in Johannesburg’s elegant district

South Africans in both pictures, but the sites are different. In the golf courses a new force of wealthy businessmen rose

the poor district of Soweto is a slum area: Utopia and phobia in more than one contrasting scene

In Apartheid Museum we lived the years of apartheid. At the gate, pictures of Mandela in different stages of his life are placed. Its style of architecture brings back memories of the people’s harsh life

At the entrance sit a committee meting out punishments for violating police orders. The black girl looks grim, as if looking for a relative behind history, walls and shackles

At the magicians’ market superstitions still prevail: a stuffed monkey, a wolf’s skeleton, snakeskin, a wild animal’s tail, a bull’s head with the eyes taken out

At the magicians’ market superstitions still prevail: a stuffed monkey, a wolf’s skeleton, snakeskin, a wild animal’s tail, a bull’s head with the eyes taken out

A guitarist. Two women wearing traditional jewels

A young tribal girl with a sunny smile wearing a coloured bead necklace

A picture that sums up the scene: Hosting the World Cup marked a crucial turning point in the history of the black continent. It was a coloured necklace worn by a South African girl

On 16 June 1992, Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela unveiled a memorial for the victims of the youth uprising on 16 June 1976 against apartheid authorities

Table Mountain: a towering mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town, as seen from on board the ship "Freedom”, which carried us to Robben Island

Seagulls welcome Cape Town beach frequenters

Popular music bands welcome visitors in the city’s harbour

Muslim immigrants from the Indian subcontinent carried a number of living and architectural scenes. Pictured are a Johannesburg mosque and two prayers hurrying to perform the noon prayer

South African tribes’ faces are now nothing but a folkloric scene, like this Cape Town beach dancer/singer/musician

This scene was impossible before Mandela; a blond artist draws a black face. However, real life deserves more than just a portrait

Cape Town: a green paradise for the rich only

A profound difference between the ship which carried us to the well-known island on which Mandela and his comrades were imprisoned, and the scene of the arrival of prisoners

A profound difference between the ship which carried us to the well-known island on which Mandela and his comrades were imprisoned, and the scene of the arrival of prisoners

Tandomat, a prison inmate of Mandela’s, talking to us about Mandela’s days in prison

The cell where Mandela was jailed for 26 years!

Morgan Freeman playing the role of Mandela as President of South African talking to Matt Damon as footballer François Pienaar in the film "Invictus”, after Henley’s poem, directed by Clint Eastwood

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