The Robben Island prison that once held Nelson …
Nelson Mandela spent the first 18 of his 27 years in jail at the brutal Robben Island Prison, a former leper colony off the coast of Cape Town, where he was confined to a small cell without a bed or plumbing and compelled to do hard labor in a lime quarry. As a black political prisoner, he received scantier rations and fewer privileges than other inmates. He was only allowed to see his wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1936-), who he had married in 1958 and was the mother of his two young daughters, once every six months. Mandela and his fellow prisoners were routinely subjected to inhumane punishments for the slightest of offenses; among other atrocities, there were reports of guards burying inmates in the ground up to their necks and urinating on them.
Robben Island: Nelson Mandela's Prison Home.
In order to fully understand the array of customs on the island, one must first look at its history and how it has come to be home to a range of ethnic groups....
“The campaign against AIDS is the task of all of us – young and old, government and community organisations, religious and traditional institutions, cultural and sporting bodies.
AIDS knows no custom. It knows no colour. It knows no boundaries. We have to work together wherever we are to preserve our nation, our continent and humanity as a whole.
I gave permission for the use of my Robben Island prison number 46664 as a weapon against AIDS. I did so remembering how, in the long years on Robben Island, we never lost hope…”
The Robben Island Museum and National Monument History Essay
While visiting Cape Town this past December with my family, I toured Robben Island, the location of the prison in which Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years imprisoned. Prisons always make for a strange tourist attraction; it’s uncomfortable watching a group of tourists stampede jubilantly around a place with such a miserable history — especially when the tour ends in a gift shop selling prison triathlon shirts. Robben Island’s prison tour is especially perverse, because former political prisoners lead its tours as part of the country’s reconciliation process. Listening to a former inmate recount his prison experiences while standing adjacent to his tiny prison cell is uncomfortable to say the least.
Essay on robben island - DeGraw Design + Build
The Island is a call to arms as much as a cry for help. Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona’s 1973 play juxtaposes the bleak living conditions and the harsh treatment of inmates on Robben Island with brotherly affection and child-like excitement at the simple joys of life. Winston and John should be broken men, backs bent in agony and subdued by their life sentences. But instead they retain a sense of humour at anything and everything, from reminiscing about years gone by to bickering about who will play the female character of Antigone in an upcoming performance. It’s a reminder that although chained down and locked up, they are still free in spirit.
much of it on Robben Island, ..
The trial of Antigone contains a number of immediate parallels to the apartheid incarcerations, but Terry focusses on the relationship between the two prisoners instead of on their connection with the ancient Greek play. Antigone is in fact the same play that Nelson Mandela acted in when jailed on Robben Island in 1970, yet the gravitas and impact of this historical event is lost among the more comical elements of the performance – the rope wigs and wooden bras.
A history of Robben Island and District 6 - WriteWork
Nelson Mandela’s commitment to politics and the ANC grew stronger after the 1948 election victory of the Afrikaner-dominated National Party, which introduced a formal system of racial classification and segregation—apartheid—that restricted nonwhites’ basic rights and barred them from government while maintaining white minority rule. The following year, the ANC adopted the ANCYL’s plan to achieve full citizenship for all South Africans through boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience and other nonviolent methods. Mandela helped lead the ANC’s 1952 Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws, traveling across the country to organize protests against discriminatory policies, and promoted the manifesto known as the Freedom Charter, ratified by the Congress of the People in 1955. Also in 1952, Mandela and Tambo opened South Africa’s first black law firm, which offered free or low-cost legal counsel to those affected by apartheid legislation.