Thursday, February 19, 2009


Today I finally went to Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela has been kept prison for many years. It was quite an impressive visit! And an emotional one as well...... If you ever come to Cape Town dont miss this. A lot of tragedy has happened here but now they call the island a place of hope and healing..... the remains of injustice ....... A pile of rocks started by Nelson and thousands of other ex-political prisoners followed......... More than thousand rocks of different shape, color and texture. It is at the entrance of the lime quarry where the prisoners had to work 5 days a week. Never seen such a beautiful pile before, a memorial to their years of struggle and hardship.... Nelson Mandela spent 27 years on this island and this is his cell and how it looked in the beginning. The red bucket was used as a toilet, to wash his clothes in and wash himself..... What people are capable of to humiliate others and to create an illusion of difference between people is something that makes my blood run cold...... Of course it is an island with a long history of suffering and Nelson Mandela was one of so many who were banished and treated unfair there. I really hope people will learn from this but sometimes when I look around and see what is happening in the world I doubt it......... I left the island filled with sadness.


  1. What a fascinating experience for you and for me. I never knew all this and I thank you for sharing it.

  2. Thanks for sharing the photos, Marianne. I have studied his life with interest, but never saw the photos you shared here. Thank you so much.

    Sadness for what was . . . happiness for the changes that have taken place and hope for more change to come.

  3. I am so sorry for this injustice! I am glad you got to visit has changed you forever. I am glad you posted these pictures and gave a glimpse of this to the rest of us in the world. We can pray for changes as a result of this ever happening.

  4. I like how you said that Fannie
    We must never loose hope of course.
    beautiful words which I will try to remember

  5. Indrukwekkend..............

  6. Again, Marianne, you provide an excellent education for us. This is a sad post, but a good reminder of the strength of the human spirit. I can say it reminded me of my visit to Dachau a few years ago...I could not make it all the way through.

  7. Dat was het zeker Izabel!

    hi Kim!
    I made it through but I thought it was very emotional...... In the end our tour leader, an ex political prisoner, told us 2 stories , examples of how they try to break the spirit of these men. I nearly broke down in tears.........
    and now again when I think about it. What some people have to suffer .......
    But indeed these men who survived came out so much stronger than their oppressors

  8. I was just thinking, before reading Kim's comment, that this sounds like taking a visit to a concentration camp. Any of them really as we had internment camps here for the Japanese in WWII. So very sad. All that you say is so true. Thanks for this tour of the place. The piles of stones. The cell, the wire fences. So deceptive, that first shot of the lighthouse.

  9. It's amazing what the human spirit can endure. He kept his faith and persevered and has taught us all a lesson in never giving up hope.

    Thank you Marianne. Just seeing his small space puts a whole new perspective on this for me.

  10. It's OK to be sad Marianne.
    It's just can't be helped to have this sad feeling since Nelson Mandela had been treated so unfairly:(

  11. Someone once asked Nelson Mandela if he was despairing while imprisoned all those years...and he said "No, I was preparing."

    I cannot even imagine.

    It is rather stunning how humanity has still not learned to peacefully co-exist...but I think there are more today who are evolving than any other time period.

  12. I am so sorry this made you sad Marianne. It is a lesson many people should have, seeing this place. Our world is a mess. We can do our part to make it better and be satisfied.


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