From Cape Town: A Perspective on Nelson Mandela

nelsonmandela

Photo Courtesy of Janie Simonton

“Once Mandela dies, you need to head to a rural farm and hide in the bush for a while because things are going to get really violent.”

I’m currently studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and have been hearing things like this all semester. This particular quote, from one of my friend’s host fathers, who was a detective during apartheid, is particularly haunting. His words aren’t the only ones that resonated, though. My neighbors in Langa, a township I stayed in for three weeks, speculated that Mandela’s death would mean instant race riots. People, she explained, are only keeping the peace to honor Mandela, but once he dies, there’s no reason not to unleash built-up aggression.

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