Robben Osland through my eyes
Growing up I had heard a lot about Robben Island and as such I doubt there is anyone who has not, but just in case, it is most popular for being the place Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s anti-apartheid revolutionist, later President was incarcerated for 18 years out of his 27years jail time.
Since I was in South Africa, I had to be there and as such it was one of the first few places I saw, also considering that it is listed as one of the UNESCO world heritage it was a must see. After surviving the wait as there are a lot of tourists at this time of the year and preferable to book online, I finally got on a ferry to Robben Island, I was so excited to see people from diverse race and background also visiting. It felt good to see a lot of people also uniquely interested in history and culture.
The ferry ride took about 45minutes and we were at Robben Island. On getting to the island we had tour buses waiting for us with a tour guide who showed us round, ours was particularly funny and witty, he would ask us what country we were from and told us the roles our various countries played in the South Africa’s Struggle against Apartheid.
Our first stop was at Robert Sobukwe’s house who was one of the foremost proponrnt of the anti-apartheid movement. Many people believe the struggle started with Nelson Mandela but it was however stated with Sobukwe who commanded a lot of respect from the then South African Blacks, we were told of the influence he wielded even right in prison. He once asked all blacks to the jails to offer themselves up for arrest for not carrying their passbook. His influence was such that he had to be kept in isolation so as to prevent chaos. He is however one of the least documented freedom fighter in South Africa.
Robben Island before what it is today was a place of banishment, we were made to know that, there were not only political prisoners on the island but also notorious prisoners were also kept there, also lepers and people who were banished due to one illness or the other were inhabitants of the island at. Robben Island was not only home to South African prisoners but also prisoners from other countries. We were then shown the lepers ground.
Next we moved up to the lime quarry, these was the place prisoners were made to work for hours, here there were exposed to harsh conditions and weather. Despite that they sang freedom songs. Education was of importance to the prisoners and despite the hard labour they still undertook distance learning courses and most of them left the island with a minimum of one degree.
Also there were stops at the Garrison Church, Da waal Battery where a bit of world war II was mentioned as it relates to Robben Island was narrated to us and also at the Kramat.
Finally the bus tour ended and we were then taken on a foot tour, we were quite fortunate to have us a tour guide who was once held prisoner on Robben Island, he recounted to us his experiences, the daily routine of prisoners, the means of communication when letters were being censored, the failed attempt at escape. The protest for shoes and better clothing by going on hunger strike. He should us Nelson Mandela’s cell, the sports ground and also cells in other blocks.
Robben Island was a great experience and I was able to transcend via time and space even though I was not yet born, I was able to perceive the experience and was glad I came around.
Leaving Robben Island back to the V and A waterfront during sunset, the view was awesome, I also saw a shark jump out of the sea although I wasn’t able to catch that on camera.https://www.gounesco.com/heritage/proof/robben-osland-eyes/https://s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/gounesco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/13224023/findingae-1-of-1-49-1024x683.jpghttps://s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/gounesco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/13224023/findingae-1-of-1-49-150x150.jpgUncategorizedarpatheid,culture,heritage,heritage site,madiba,mandela,robben island,Robbenisland,southafrica,travel,World Heritage Site,world heritage travel