Social activist Ndileka Mandela (second left), eldest granddaughter of former South African leader Nelson Mandela, speaking to fourth and fifth form students of Ellerslie. At left is principal of Ellerslie, Lieutenant Colonel Errol Brathwaite. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)
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THE HISTORY of apartheid and the struggle of Blacks to gain the right to vote in South Africa was shared with students of Ellerslie Secondary School yesterday when social activist Ndileka Mandela, the eldest grand-daughter of former South African president and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, spoke to fourth and fifth formers.
Mandela said black South Africans now had the right to vote but the disparity between the minority Whites who owned the majority of the economic wealth and the majority Blacks was still there. In fact, she said the gap had widened rather than closed.
In South Africa, the demographic was 70 per cent Black and 30 per cent White, but Mandela said the economic wealth rested with the white population.
“Our land is still in the hands of the minority white people. We still have to work much harder as black persons, especially as a woman. A lot of our people they still go to bed hungry, mostly dependent on government and social grants, so we still have a long way to go in terms of addressing the imbalance,” she said.
In 2014, Mandela founded the Thembekile Mandela Foundation which was focused on developing educational opportunities and promoting access to health care.
Mandela, who at one point got emotional, also shared some of her personal stories and interactions with her grandfather who passed away in 2013.
She was in the island for a few days to deliver a lecture at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, University of the West Indies Cave Hill, and also opened the Mandela Freedom Park at University Drive on Tuesday night. (LK)