Day 6

Today Being able to talk to Christo Brand demonstrated another reason for why it is so important to listen and be able to experience a story about the history of South Africa from someone who was apart of the history themselves. Discussion with Mr. Brand reminded me of my experience when I went on a trip called March of the Living, where I went to Poland and Israel for 2 weeks. This was were we experienced traveling to the different concentration camps and death camps but while we were there we were told personal stories from a holocaust survivor. It helped me put together why it was so incredible to listen to his story about him and Nelson Mandela.

Hearing Mr. Brand’s life story of how he became a guard and the relationship he created with Mandela tells beyond the stories we thought we knew. It gives the ability to understand history with a deeper meaning. Learning about it in a classroom, reading about or watching documentaries is like a puzzle missing its pieces. So hearing how he helped Mandela and who Mandela was as a person shows those missing pieces coming together. What I thought was interesting was when Mr. Brand was talking to Mandela and said you are never actually free because you always have security around you your whole life. I believe the freedom is being able to see how far one has come, despite of all the challenges and hardships they have faced. I was taken by surprise when I found out that how controlling the government was about releasing photos and information about Mandela because the amount of information we know that is one thing that was never discussed until today. So a discussion like this one from the morning is why it is so important for stories to be told, so we can share those little details with the world.

Being told we were going to District 6 museum I was unclear about what to fully expect. I didn’t understand what could be shown there since the people were taken away from there homes. Learning today just by walking in, the museum tells a story about the diverse population was faced with challenges of their homes, rights and culture were taken away from them. I learned how one museum can tell a story about many people who lost everything, found piece within family. It took me a while to process everything, to understand what this could have been like to experience but no words come to mind because there are no words to describe it besides telling Noorl’s story of his family, his history and what he has gone through. How he helped develop the District 6 museum and is able to tell his story to many people from all over, giving him a sense of pride.

“Believing God and Nelson Mandela forgives, is more important than hating. Because hating is not good for the heart.” -Noorl

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