South Africa: Remembering Bra Hugh


The ambassador had organised for Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela to perform. God knows, we had never heard them and here they were within touching distance and performing for this relatively small group of people.

The day South Africa voted will go down as a precious and proud memory for me. I stood in my lounge ironing - sure, I ironed the same thing a hundred times over while I watched CNN reporting on the queues and the goodwill between our people. I cried long and often that day. There was no need for steam on my garments. I willed myself there in that blonde land with the blue sky and the veld. We had voted earlier on another memorable day in Berne.

Twelve Saffers in a minibus drove from Vevey to Berne where we were "allowed" to vote and then we went and celebrated afterwards in a local restaurant. I can still feel my cheeks glowing, mostly because I probably had too much red wine but also because I hadn't stopped smiling all day.

We celebrated Madiba's inauguration shortly afterwards at the home of the South African ambassador in Berne. Ambassadorial staff mingling with long-time exiles in ANC T-shirts,...

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