Robben Island, arguably Africa’s most famous island and location, is a historical site that many people would like to forget. A place that serves as a symbol of South Africa’s terrible past, a global reminder of the horrors committed by humans against other humans, and most significantly, a place that instills in us the value of perseverance and never giving up no matter the circumstances.
Most people on the continent may already be familiar with ‘s history because it was there that Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first post-apartheid president, was imprisoned for 27 years as a punishment for his resistance to the established Apartheid system.
The Island served as a jail for political prisoners under the infamous White Apartheid regime. ANC leaders who were in charge of opposing the system were apprehended and brought to the small Island to suffer in dungeons and cells.
Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, who later went on to become president in recent memory, were two of the most well-liked political personalities to serve time in prison on the island.
Following the end of apartheid in 1994 and the eventual release of all political prisoners detained on the island, the area was transformed into a historical landmark, with the island’s prison acting as a museum where curious travelers can learn more about South African history.
The Island is open to anyone and is largely frequented by foreign visitors that come to Cape Town for tourism and sightseeing. Additionally, the United Nations has designated it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Getting to the Island requires taking a ferry from the coast of Cape Town, which travels there in around five hours on average. Thousands of tourists visit the Island every day, and there are numerous ferry crossings to it from the coast of Cape Town. It is obvious that even though these treatments muted up to Mandela is forgiven completely by South Africans, and Africans at large, it lessons remain unforgettable.