Invictus, the movie
I went to see Invictus the other night with Josh and Fred. The movie, set in 1985, is based on Nelson Mandela during the time he was the President of South Africa. He believed that if the Springboks (their rugby team) could win the Rugby World Cup game which was going to be hosted in South Africa, the win would be a way to unite the country. The movie is based on a true story. FYI- Springbok is generally on every menu in South Africa and is the national animal of South Africa.
We traveled to South Africa during the holiday season or December 2004/January 2005. We decided to go there because that year was the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid.
Physically, the country is beautiful. Cape Town is possibly one of the most breathtaking cities I have ever been to. Table Mountain sits proudly in the middle of the city and the clouds roll in over the mountain every night. The clouds are referred to as a table cloth. The city literally rises up from the ocean. We traveled through the wine country and up the coast staying in 2 different areas and ended our trip on a safari in the private reserve area of Sabi Sands.
What I found incredible about South Africa was not only the warmth of the people but how they had embraced each other so shortly after years of hate, fear and separation. It was remarkable.
We went over to Robbins Island to see where Mandela was imprisoned. What is astounding is that the people who live on the island, who are the guides for people like us who visit the island, walk them through the jails and speak about the history of their country, are the same people who were not only jailed there but their jailers. Both people now live side by side, eat together and share with people who visit Robbins Island, the realities of what took place on that island. How they can do that, to me, is mind-boggling.
Watching the movie brought back all those memories. Mandela, who has proven to be a truly a remarkable brilliant peaceful man, was genius in his leadership. Instead of turning against the people who had turned against him all these years, he embraced them. Most people, would have basically said, we are now in power and the people who suppressed us are now going to get theirs. Not Mandela. He said, it is time for us all to come together, create a new country, get rid of our fears and anger and unite as one. When we were there, the small part that we saw was that most people have not only followed his leadership, they have embraced it. Johannesburg still has many issues but the people we talked to who were visiting from other parts of the country were excited about new territory being charted for the country. In many ways, when we went, the country was only 10 years old.
Unfortunately, the leadership in South Africa, has not been proven to be as strong and intelligent as Mandela but I did fall in love with the country and the
people. There are many issues that a young country faces, certainly the history is still fresh but I can't imagine that we won't see South Africa become a leader in change in that part of the world sooner than later.
That movie brought me back. It is a movie really worth seeing. It really gives the viewer a tiny glimpse into how the country changed so quickly for the postive. Uplifting to say the least.