The highlights of Cape Town are hands down Robben Island and Table Mountain.
For those who don’t know, Robben Island is most notoriously known as the place where The Old Man (Mandela) spent 18 trying years imprisoned between the years 1964-1982, thereafter being transferred to Pollsmoor Prison. During the Rivonia Trials which began October of 1963, Mandela and 7 other political activists (Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi, Ahmed Kathrada, Denis Goldberg and Wilton Mkwayi), were being tried for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Still to this day I don’t understand how it’s a crime to plan to overthrow a government which really doesn’t serve “the people,” but more-so a specific group of persons. A government represents its’ people, not divides them, manipulates them, imprisons them, and slays generations off. When a government misrepresents its people, they have the right to govern themselves. If the government continues to objectify your people and try all kinds of strategies to silence an entire race, well…an overthrow sounds right to me.
But enough about of my rants.
They were all convicted in 1964 & sentenced to life. As soon as I arrived at the ferry, I retrieved my ticket and immediately went to the gift shop. I wanted to buy a shirt that said “History is told depending on who writes it,” with The Old Man’s face on it, but it was 245 rand = around $38 A.K.A too much money for a fitted T-shirt. My grandmother could make that. Either way, I ended up settling for this hat.
The numbers signifies the number Mandela was given when he was incarcerated. It represents more than just the fact that he was the 466th prisoner in 1964. It serves as a constant reminder of the sacrifices he prepared himself to make “for a humanitarian and social justice cause that he so passionately believed in.”
As we went through security and made our way onto the boat, we sailed for almost 45minutes. It was a time for reflection. Although the waves were pretty intense, the ride was very relaxing. As I made a failed attempt to place myself in the shoes of Mandela, my mind was filled with thoughts. Firstly, what goes through your head when you, the voice for your people and warrior for a just cause is sentenced to life in prison? How do you cope with the fact that this boat ride could very well be a one-way destination? What is it that uplifted his spirits and gave him strength enough to keep on pushing on for 27years of imprisonment?
So while I was relaxing on the boat ride over, taking photos, Mandela was probably in deep thought, reflection and contemplation about his future and the future of South Africa.
PHOTO: LUCAS RODGERS
WALKING INTO ROBBEN ISLAND
Our tour guide, Jama was a political activist in the 70s and helped to organize the 1976 student uprisings. He was imprisoned in Robben Island for five years between 1977-1982 and weirdly enough, he now works there.
TOUR GUIDE JAMA
We learned a lot about the history of the island which was helpful in understanding the significance of its preservation now.
But enough about Robben Island. Let’s talk about Table Mountain: one of the most beautiful sites I’ve witnessed in my short 19years. It’s a mountain that overlooks Cape Town and is a huge tourist attraction.
TABLE MOUNTAIN FROM A DISTANCE
TAKING A BREAK FROM CLIMBING TO POSE
You have the option to take the cable car up to the top of the mountain or hike it. Me & my girls hiked…in the worse shoe gear possible might I add.
BECKY CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN
We kept passing people who was constantly questioning our ability to make it to the top. Now, although we didn’t make it ALL the way to the top, we made it as far as we could before realizing we would have to climb back down before the sun set. It would not have been fun climbing down that mountain in complete darkness.
We were able to see the sunset on our way down from the mountains—a site a picture can’t even describe. But here’s one anyway.
SUNSET- VIEW FROM ON THE MOUNTAIN
PHOTO: LAUREN HERTZLER
After we got back, we went clubbing. Made some new friends. A few of them.
The club was fun. Not enough diverse music once again but I had a good time jumping around & trying to challange South African boys to their own music which I clearly had no idea how to do lol.
In the end it was an experience that I’ll take with me and remember for a lifetime. Its something that I can say
“Been there, done that.”
It’s a place where friendships were established, rules were broken and fun was had. =)