Cape Town Irish Salute Nelson Mandela

One hot Sunday afternoon at the Robben Island Museum in Cape Town the Cape Town Chapter of the Irish South African Association held a special event in honour of the late Nelson Mandela. To highlight the unique relationship between Ireland, Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement the event was held at a special exhibition entitled Mandela in Dublin: A Legacy of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement.

Guests were welcomed by the sound of bag pipes playing. As guests walked through the exhibition they were met with memories of Mandela’s four visits to Dublin, as well as a celebration of the contributions of the Irish people to the Anti-Apartheid struggle.
Guests of Honour included Mrs Louis Asmal, wife of the late Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement Volunteer-in-Chief Prof. Kader Asmal and Cork County Councillor Mr Gerry Kelly. Members of the Cape Town Chapter were also joined by the President of the Gauteng Chapter of the ISAA and the Chief and Lady president of the Caledonian Society and some of their members.
Guests were welcomed by the CEO of the Robben Island Museum, Mr Sibongiseni Mkhize. This was followed by a short description of the background of the exhibition by its creator Dr Olusegun Morakinyo, who used the design of the exhibition as a teaching tool for his students in curatorship. It was his love of Ireland , where his family live, and South Africa that led him to use the resources of the Mayibuhe Archives at the Robben Island Museum to put this excellent exhibition together. The Salute to Nelson Mandela continued with a prayer in three languages. Firstly, Father Dick O’ Riordan of the Irish South African Association said a prayer in Nelson Mandela’s home language of Xhosa. This was followed by a prayer in English by Jacinta Munro, Lady president of the Cape Town Chapter of the Caledonian Society of South Africa. Finally Father David Rowles concluded with a prayer in Afrikaans. The prayers were aptly followed by lone bag piper playing a lament. Mrs Louise Asmal gave a personal account of her experiences with Mandela in Dublin. She particularly commented on his personability and care for people in general.  The speeches were rounded off by an emotional and inspirational speech by Cllr Gerry Kelly, speaking in both Irish and English, who focused on Mandela’s “VHI”- Vision, Honour and Integrity and how we and current politicians can all aspire to live by these values. 

Posted by Maryna Warren on 10/01/2014 11:59:42 |

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