The King and Us

Today, the students continued the exploration into the legacy of Nelson Mandela. The morning started a bit later in the day with a hearty breakfast of porridge, cereal, fruit, and toast with cheese. The first speaker of the day was author and educational media developer, Andre Croucamp. He helped install the educational art exhibit “Unthreading the Legacy” at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesberg (which we just found out we will have the pleasure of visiting on Thursday). Mr. Croucamp was gracious enough to split his presentation into two parts, as King Kgosi Leruo Molotlegiof of the Royal Bafokeng visited us midmorning. The king offered his thoughts on humility in leadership and his philosophy of planting a few seeds to make a difference in the future. After his address, he took questions from several students. The exchange between students attending the conference, and Kgosi revealed many issues surrounding the changing times in the region. The royal photographer snapped a quick photo of the conference attendees with the king which we hope to see in the near future. The king asked to meet our delegation, and we exchanged views about the state of democracy in South Africa and the United States of America. He was kind and gracious to take the time to personally greet us into his kingdom.

After lunch, the students were able to hear from two other dignitaries: the princess of Royal Bafokeng and the Ambassador of the Republic of Haiti in South Africa. This session focused on being careful of perceptions because of one’s title or position. Catherine reflected on this high energy session saying, “I feel very fortunate to have head from the pricess of Bafoeng and the ambassador. I enjoyed hearing the ambassador’s story of perseverance which has led to his ability to help others.”

Today the students also learned that their family groups would be participating in a debate, so after dinner the students spent the evening researching their given topic. The two debates focus on whether or not the T.R.C. and C.O.D.E.S.A. gave a false hope of creating a rainbow nation and if gender played an integral role in the portrayal of Winnie Mandela’s role and legacy in ending apartheid. Tomorrow afternoon, four students from the family group will present their arguments in front of a team of judicators.

Before dinner, Mr. Boyd was invited to play the djembe with local Lebone II percussion students and alumni. (The locals are now hoping to play more with Mr. Boyd and learn percussion skills from him later this week!).