Goodbye Bafana and Robben Island

Nelson Mandela's CellThe non-safari highlight of my trip to South Africa was seeing Robben Island. I was reading Nelson Mandela’s excellent autobiography at the time, so it was fascinating to see where he spent 18 years of his life.

The most poignant moment was when we visited the limestone quarry where Mandela and his fellow political prisoners laboured. In the corner, there was this little cave where the prisoners sheltered from from the elements to eat lunch. According to Mandela, the prisoners talked, debated and planned for their future freedom. In many ways, I think modern South Africa was forged in that cave. I took a very ordinary photo–it’s one of a small set.

I recognized some of the locations from the trailer for Goodbye Bafana, a movie about Mandela’s imprisonment and apartheid told from the perspective of Mandela’s jailer. It stars Joseph Fiennes (strong accent work, there), and looks like a pretty good film. According to IMDB, it hasn’t been released in North America yet. Here’s the trailer:


  1. Thanks for the trailer of the film, Goodbye Bafana. It looks like a good film, with strong acting. One to watch out for …

    It always amazes me how barren and stark Robben Island is when there is so much greenery just across the water. Well done with your photos for catching the atmosphere that is Robben Island.


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