This words inspire me at this Robben Island, “We want Robben Island to reflect the triumph of freedom and human dignity over oppression and humiliation.” You will feel a cold wave of truth ripple through you as you read this words… and us you ponder it, why Robben Island is just little but home to a Great Man – Mandela.
Nelson Mandela has made this island rise to the face of the world. An island of isolation and imprisonment for prisoners like him to rise up and be a Laureate. I would say, “He feel into the dungeons of this island for 20 years only to rise up with greatest that has shown perseverance, contentment and true spirit of leadership“. I write as I am drawn to what this Island made the most celebrated African leader to be – while working in the quarries for 20 years. Not only did he contract lung infections but it has put him down – and now we miss you Mandela.
Madiba, stepping out of prison made me understand why apartheid had been knocked down on it face. He was the right man at the difficult hour to ascent to power in super power of Africa – South Africa. The words inscribed on this island are true of Nelson Mandela. I wish that life should have reward him more years like the island itself but I join the world at large to ponder that Madiba had seen a lot and worth he rested. May be more that I can’t narrate better than the walls of his prison room as prisoner number 46664 at Robben Island.
Robben Island – 20 of 27 years
Robben Island is 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. It is oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an approximately area of 5.07 km². Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 20 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid.
Robben Island Museum
This island was not only been used as a prison (1961 -1996). History has it as a training and defence station for World War II (1939-1945) and a hospital for people with leprosy, and the mentally and chronically ill (1846-1931). It was a hospital because it was regarded as both secure – isolated from mainland and a place to find healing – healthy.
The last political prisons left this island in 1991. By 1996 other prisoners were moved and it closed its doors as a correction facility. In 1997 it was officially set aside as a museum and by 1999 was recognised as World Heritage Site. It holds rich history of not only South Africa or Africa but the rest of changing world. As all are a witness of this as we mourn Mandela!