Posts tagged ‘Durban’

Robben Island: Little Home to a Great Man

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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.

1476187_714104455281548_1314490395_nMadiba, 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 BloubergstrandCape 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!

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Superwaterway – Flooded Thika Road

thika9aI dread rains especially the sudden downpour when there was sweat sunshine hours ago. In this tropical country who would want wet weather throughout the year. Not only do humans in this country avoid rain but also their carriages are adversely affected. I recall one legendary singer who sang that Nairobians fear rain more than cars on the road.

He was correct. Think of rain and you start running for a shelter – may be stopping/cancelling all day’s business plans. Media house would have another story to cover that evening. With headlines of “Transport has been paralyzed in many parts of Nairobi following a sudden heavy downpour this afternoon”. Even the gorvernor would agree that many of the city’s roads are rendered impassable leading to heavy traffic just because of drop of water from the sky. This situation adversely impacts transport and commutters are always stranded in the town Centre.

My recent encounter was on the superhighway. Barely two years after completion of Thika. It is seems to be a no go zone with heavy downpour in our city. This Thika superhighway was heavily flooded and if you drove a vitz – lucky if you went through the sea on our superhighway.

Just few minutes of rain renders Thika Superhighway impassable. Motorist reduce their speeds to near zero, as the water fills the road. It is a superwaterway maybe and not a highway. I almost gave a tick to this completed road but drainage has left me the opposite. The authority has neglected the drains despite the Chinese doing a commendable work. More blame is direct towards us, some residents fill drains with garbage and all form of plastic. When it rains, water is therefore left with nowhere to go, but to fill the road. Lets stop this, think global while acting locally.

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Durban to Doha COP18

DOHA COP 18

Durban in South Africa & Doha in Qatar, these cities have ONE thing in common. Over six thousand kilometers apart, South and North of Equator. November/December but different years they play hosts to major global discussions.

Durban a South Africa city was useful in climate talks for 2011 (COP17). It is an extraordinary city, the most culturally diverse, with a rich and colourful history. It also the biggest and busiest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The attraction of the city leaves everyone feeling home. This is why it is known as the friendliest city in South Africa. This highly due to great warmth and openness of its people and  laid-back lifestyle that everyone here enjoys.

COP 17 concluded with participants voting for universal legal approach to climate change. Unlike, Bali or Cancun Agreement there is not much to pride of  from South Africa. On a continent where 12% of world’s population live and highly impacted by climate change.

DOHA COP 18

Now, Doha opened it is doors to same or new guests to discuss issues of climate. The theme draws you into out-of-the-box thinking – 7 Billion One ChallengeWill most participants focus to give the world a clear direction or it will be in selfish interests. The Least Developing Countries think of 3% contribution while G-8 at 43% of environmental footprint. The least producers suffer more while largest economy countries suffer least. 

It is time everyone ratified Kyoto protocol and make planet earth a better place. Both cities should not only go down in history after 2022 to have hosted FIFA World Cup but laid solid pillars for environmental governance. Our call is let this be not a pre-world cup tour but a strong green step into a sustainable planet.

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