A long walk for Mandela

By Drum Digital
11 November 2014

Graca Machel's heart feels heavier as we approach December: "It's still hard to believe that Madiba is no more."

President Nelson Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, says her heart feels heavier as we approach December: "It's still hard to believe that Madiba is no more," she reflected.

Speaking at the launch of the Nelson Mandela Remembrance Walk in Houghton, Johannesburg, she said such initiatives - which were aligned with Tata's values - were the things that kept him alive.

"They don't just keep his legacy alive, they keep him alive," she said of the launch of an annual walk on 13 December, just a year since the passing of the statesman.

The walk is set to begin at 8am at Freedom Park. It will then proceed to Kgosi Mampuru Prison, then to the Palace of Justice in Church Square, past Lillian Ngoyi Square and will end at the Union Buildings.

mandela walk

This trail is of particular significance as the Union Buildings represent both where Madiba was inaugurated as the country's first democratically elected president and it was also where he was laid to rest and many came to pay their last respects.

Fellow struggle veterans and brothers of the late Mandela like Isithwalandwe, Andrew Mlangeni and Ahmed Kathrada will be at key  points to share in the history of the iconic stops.

“These narrations will be recorded and kept for future generations,” said Gauteng MEC of Sports, Arts and Culture, Molebatsi Bopape.

“This walk reminds me of Madiba’s book, A Long Walk to Freedom. It looks to me we are continuing with that walk,” Mlangeni said.

“We have achieved political freedom. Economic freedom we haven’t achieved yet. I believe once we achieve that as well, we will have completed this long walk to freedom.”

People are encouraged to begin registering for the walk. About 10 000 participants are expected.

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