We're back in Cape Town ready to board the ferry to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for defying Apartheid laws. Mandela once wrote, "...traveling to Robben Island was like going to another country." At this marker, you can see how far away Cape Town is in respect to other major cities.
Tiffany and Marina brave the waves on the Robben Island Ferry. From a distance, Robben Island appears flat and plain but for nearly 400 years it was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. This piece of land has now become one of the world's most powerful symbols of human freedom.
Upon arrival to Robben Island…worn out stones mark the prison's name.
This is the entrance to the holding area at Robben Island. Since 1997, the prison at Robben Island has been a museum open to tourists, students of all ages, and conducts ongoing archival research.
A guide at Robben Island presented our group with the key to Nelson Mandela's cell. The key is the only copy.
Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in this prison. During his incarceration, he believed that the prison was a microcosm of the struggle against Apartheid as a whole. "We would fight inside as we had fought outside...[just] on different terms."
With the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 and the last of the political prisoners in 1991, Robben Island became a symbol of human freedom. With the rise of democracy in 1994 came calls for closure of the prison. In 1996, the last criminal prisoners were removed and the prison closed.
Indres Naidoo spent 10 years on Robben Island. He took our viewers through the penitentiary giving them a very unique and insightful explanation of the horrible conditions that the prisoners were exposed to.
Even in the prison system there were extreme differences in the treatments of races. This is an example of the food allotment depending on whether you were black (native South African) or colored (of mixed racial descent.)
It's a small world! What are the chances we would meet an American Oprah's Book Club Member on her own tour of South Africa?
Tiffany and Marina say goodbye to Robben Island. Once an international symbol of brutality, Robben Island now represents the triumph of the human spirit over adversity not only for South Africa and the African continent but also for the entire world. On Day Eight, our group visits Table Mountain.