Bahle (right) plays with her twin sister (left) and classmate Lusanda. Bahle lives in a small, metal shack on the outskirts of Cape Town. Their home is often filled with laughter and friends.
At the beginning of her senior year in a South African high school, Bahle had big dreams. In Anders Kelto’s final story from our year-long School Year series, he recounts Bahle’s struggles over the school year and how she was forced to reconsider her future.
In June, OPB News listener Ashley Jordan heard the story of South African high school student named Sive and raised $1,000 to help him.
In the latest in our #SchoolYear series, reporter Anders Kelto examines what $1,000 means for a South African teenager, struggling after the death of both parents.
Listen here: http://ow.ly/s9C6E
Our intern in South Africa, Robyn Murray, was a kilometer from Mandela’s funeral site in the town of Qunu over the weekend. On Saturday, children lined the streets around Qunu and Mthatha to catch a glimpse of the thousands of people pouring into the remote rural area for Sunday’s services.
Cape Town celebrates Mandela’s life
On Friday morning, about a hundred people gathered outside Cape Town City Hall to pay tribute to former South African president, and beloved icon, Nelson Mandela.
Oakland was the last stop of Mandela’s 12-day eight-city US tour. Oakland Congressman Ron Dellums had led anti-apartheid fight in US Congress. I did not meet Mandela personally, but in group when he came into the holding area to thank us volunteers before meeting the press and taking the stage. As a refugee from Vietnam, like my fellow Vietnamese at the time, we held animosity towards the regime that forced our flee, whereas Mandela exhibited none of the hostility or hatred towards his jailers. Facing his smile and folksy manners were a DNA-altering experience.
-Sonny Le, a communications consultant in Oakland, California, recalls how Mandela helped him rethink his own past. Here is a photo that Le took of his badge from that day in 1990:
I was 18 years old, serving as a page in the House of Commons in Ottawa, when Madiba was released from prison and made Canada the first stop on his tour to thank the world for pushing to end apartheid. He and wife Winnie came to address parliament. There were two black pages and we both were determined to see, touch, meet Madiba. It felt like such a momentous occasion and he was a symbol of overcoming oppression, of the possibility of equality and justice for black people. We pages had formed an honor guard in the hallway leading to the chamber and as Madiba and Winnie walked up to us, the two of us gave them the fist-raised black power solute. They looked surprised at first, then smiled big smiles and returned the salute. We were thrilled. And a little nervous that our highly irregular actions might have some consequences for us. In the end, the Speaker and head of protocol understood the significance of the moment for two young black Canadian teens, and invited us to attend a reception with the Mandela’s where we were able to meet and speak to them. It was unforgettable.
-Melanie Ash, a Vancouver native who now works as a lawyer in New York City. She is pictured here, second from the left, with Mandela in 1990.
Watch Mandela’s first TV interview, when he was on the run in 1961.