In 2014 we were fortunate to spend almost four weeks in beautiful South Africa. We started our journey in Johannesburg, but left soon for the northern parts of Kruger National park. Having rented a car for our entire trip, we could listen to the radio while driving.
Being Dutch, and therefore understanding Afrikaans pretty well, this enhanced our experience a great deal. Especially because of the fact we spend the end of November and the beginning of December in South Africa, wich means we were in the country when Nelson Mandela passed away.
Our drives were beautiful because of the scenery, that goes without saying. But hearing the interviews with people who knew mister Mandela personally and hearing parts of documentaries and speeches we never heard before, simply added another dimension to our, already, incredible journey.
Our roadtrip ended in CapeTown where we were able to attend the memorial ceremony held in the stadium. Never before had we seen people celebrate life like the people in CapeTown. It was incredibly humbling and marked a very special moment in our four week stay. We also learned that the tickets for Robbeneiland, that we bought before we left The Netherlands, were amongst the last ones sold.
The following day we took the ferry to Robbeneiland for a day trip we’ll never forget. The trip to the island, the place itself and the stories told by the guides – who are in fact former prisoners – are both heart breaking and warming at the same time. We experienced the beauty and uglyness of human kind and we’ll cherish what we’ve learned while visiting South Africa, CapeTown and Robbeneiland.
Below we share a set of photo’s taken on the day we went to the island, where Nelson Mandela was kept as a prisoner. Besides those we share some of his most memorable quotes.
When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.
Appearances matter — and remember to smile.
Courage is not the absence of fear — it's inspiring others to move beyond it.
A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.