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Today, 11 February 2020, marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from then Victor Verster prison. To commemorate this moment, the Nelson Mandela Foundation hosted three, connected events in the Western Cape.
This year’s theme: ‘New prisons of Africa’’, that have come to define life for many and focus on how to achieve substantive liberation.
The first event was a reunion of members of the original Reception Committee that facilitated Madiba’s return from prison. Followed by a lecture by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Lemayah Gwobee, and a panel discussion between Gwobee; author Danai Mupotsa; and co-founder of 'Black Lives Matter', Opal Tometi.
With the focus on this year’s theme, Gwobee elloborated on the different kinds of ‘’African prisons’’: ‘’Africa's prison is millions of individuals having a (tertiary) education, but can't put food on the table’’
Gwobee added: "If we’re only celebrating his release of prison, we're missing the mark. It's about the rebirth of the nation; the rebirth of the continent. Madiba's walk out of prison, should be considered as release of our minds."