Thursday, 18 July 2013

A Tribute To Nelson Mandela

Written in collaboration with Thozama Mputa
All Photographs and video by Zovuyo and Thozama Mputa

On the 17th of July Thozama, my twin sister, and I went to pay our respects to former President and freedom fighter, Dr. Nelson Mandela. He is currently being treated at the Pretoria Heart Hospital. When we arrived it was still very quiet but the messages displayed along the wall broke the silence.

19 years ago
Present day ... not much has changed
On one side stood the press who were waiting for breaking news and on the other were South African citizens and foreign visitors saying thank you. One of the women we met works in Dubai but is originally from South Africa. When she asked us to take her photo she started shaking and told us about how her heart was beating so fast. We were all so overwhelmed by the positive energy that was surrounding the hospital.

With camera and video camera in hand, we started documenting everything that was happening around us because everyone else not part of press were using the cameras on their phones, they thought we were journalists from a news publication. Learning that we weren't part of a news publication didn't stop them from talking to us.

Along the hospital wall there are messages from people all over the world and of every age. Almost every culture is presented and messages are written various languages.

Children from school came to pay tribute with their teachers and we watched them write messages that would later be put up on the wall.

There is a very strong police presence but that does not mean we are not allowed to enjoy the spirit surrounding the hospital.

Some of the people we met were kind enough to share their stories about their memories of Nelson Mandela with us. We met a young man born in 1990 who was named Mandela. He was named after the struggle hero and visited the hospital almost every single day.

Watching people visit the hospital on television does not compare to the patriotic feeling you get when you are actually there. A visit to the hospital is an illustration of the South Africa Nelson Mandela wanted for himself and his people.

Everyone who arrives to visit the hospital goes there for the same intention, to say thank you and to continue his legacy.

If you look at the photographs below you will see an interview being held with an ANC veteran. One of the things he mentioned in his interview is that the youth should not blame the government for everything that goes wrong. In his day, during apartheid, they were able to blame the government for everything but they still managed to become successful during the struggle. He says that today we need to live for ourselves and do everything for ourselves.

The students of Tshwane University of Technology came in and sang various songs for Mandela. Many of the students, if not all are part of the post apartheid generation and know songs from the struggle. One of the best moments of the day is when a member of the kitchen staff who experienced apartheid came to teach the students songs from the struggle. The students picked up the rhythm quickly and joined him in song.

Me (Zovuyo Mputa) standing behind a few of the lovely messages.
An ANC Poster from 1994.

Nelson Mandela Artwork
Being interviewed for a German Radio Station

Students of Tshwane University of Technology coming to say thank you

A few reporters asked us what we would like to say to Nelson Mandela if he could hear us. My message to him was very simple.

Thank you for the South Africa you gave me and thank you for allowing me to dream. Without you I would not be able to dream and live the life I am living.

Thank you and get well soon.

- Zovuyo Mputa

Thank you for letting me live a life without restriction

- Thozama Mputa

Interviewing visitors for our video.
Tshwane University of Technology Campus President
ANC Veteran being interviewed for SABC

Interviews for Turkish news

Happy Birthday Tata Nelson Mandela and once again Thank You for everything.


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