The excited anticipation I had felt all during the month of October 2014, about sharing a platform with Nandi Jola, as a guest speaker and launching my book ‘Escaping Apartheid: A Letter to My Mother’ at her Evening of Poetry and Remembrance, culminated in an evening  of lovely people with wonderful energy attending. Great food; Amazing poetry by Nandi from her book of poetry which is a tribute to Nelson Mandela - titled: Tata – Enkosi.... for opening the doors to Freedom and Democracy in South Africa; my reading of excerpts from my book; the audience’s enthusiastic participation in discussions.

Everyone who attended that night had a very loving energy. I appreciated everyone who came. I could not help but acknowledge publicly (with deep emotions and appreciation) Anne Thomas who has known me and supported my family, from the time I came to the UK as an asylum seeker... thirty seven years ago!

Right now, I thank you my beautiful daughter Mandisa for deciding to stay instead of just dropping me as we had planned. There is a reason for everything that we are guided to do in life. Your presence helped as you helped the catering lady who graciously sent her appreciation and blessings.... I do not think I have told you this yet....Ha! Oh I so appreciate my thirty-two months old grandson, Sekhani.  He was absolutely wonderful. He was no trouble at all, for all the long hours that he was there. Thank you for being a Super Mama to Sekhani!

SA2014-10-31 Photo by James FreemanWe were given a room reserved only for presidents at the South African High Commission!  How does it get any better than that? I feel so thankful and appreciative of you Bulelwa and Nandi for creating a space for me at South Africa House!

I also felt compelled to ask the audience to join me in thanking, appreciating and celebrating a few individuals, who have now transitioned, who stuck their necks out during the Apartheid era in South Africa. This was a way of thanking ALL individuals, even though I had a few names; for contributing in my life and living. This was my Roll Call: 

  1. Chief Albert Mvumbi Luthuli – who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for non-violent struggle, in 1960. I THANK YOU!
  2. Robert Mangaliso Sobukhwe – the most feared Black South African, by the White Apartheid government – who was in prison, within a prison.... that is, in solitary confinement in Robben Island. I THANK YOU!
  3. All the people who were massacred on the 21st March 1960, during a peaceful protest against the Pass Laws, in Sharpeville. I THANK YOU!
  4. Ruth First – a white South African Activist and scholar, killed by a parcel bomb while in exile in Mozambique I THANK YOU!
  5. Bram Fischer – A white South African, an Afrikaner activist and lawyer. Known for his legal defence of anti apartheid figures, including Tat’Mandela. I THANK YOU!
  6. Joe Slovo – A white South African Politician and opponent of the apartheid regime. I THANK YOU!
  7. Oliver Thambo – Anti apartheid politician. I THANK YOU!
  8. Chris Hani – anti apartheid activist, assassinated on 10th April 1993 outside his home. I THANK YOU!
  9. Dr Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo – he persuaded the Indian community to link its destiny with that of the African majority, building a unity of the oppressed people in a common struggle against racism in South Africa. I THANK YOU!
  10. A British Bishop or Father Trevor Huddleston - who did sooo much for the people of South Africa, while he was there and through the Anti-Apartheid Movement which became a huge force for changes in South Africa. I THANK YOU!
  11. I SAY A BIG THANK YOU!!!  To ALL the Domestic Workers who had to endure nightly raids, of their servants’ quarters, in White residential areas of South Africa, by the police looking for their husbands and boyfriends...... during the pass laws.... These women did their best to hide their husbands from the police. Mama was one of those brave domestic workers, she did her best to hide Tata (my father).
  12. FINALLY, I thank All my family members who are now in the Spirit World for the LOVE that sustained me during the time I was in exile. I thank ME for the courage that I had at that time!

I Salute You! I Appreciate You! I Celebrate You! I Thank You!


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