Thoughts on the death of Nelson Mandela

Anthon 1945Some of you may be aware that my grandfather was from South Africa, he was not black but coloured. Cape Coloured was the halfway house between black and white. Under apartheid I would not have been allowed to mix with you white folks. I would have been second class. My uncle had to declare himself coloured in order to marry my aunty Cynthia, she was also coloured and my uncle met her when he was serving in the British navy. Because he was half coloured he had a choice and could declare himself coloured and marry her. If he had gone for white he would not have been allowed to. My aunty told me she never meet racialism until she came to the UK. The reason was she had never mixed with people of another colour.

Anthon family - CopySouth Africa was so deeply segregated she had hardly ever met a white person or indeed a black person. Nelson Mandela changed that, he brought about a mix. A cousin of mine would have been able to mix with his white father, his coloured mother would have been allowed to marry his father. My family was a huge mix of colours, this family photo shows my white mum and all us darkies.

 

To me the magic thing about this change was that Nelson brought this in with forgiveness. We could all learn so much from his policy of truth and reconciliation. This is his greatness legacy to me.

 

Anthon Lindsay WeddingMy coloured grandfather married my white grandmother, this is their wedding picture, a mixture of black and white. My grandmother was attracted to him when she heard him preaching outdoors, he was a hugely committed Christian, a lay preacher. He would have approved of Nelson.