Saturday, 1 November 2008

The Gentle Men

These three men, Kathy, Andrew & Kwede were from the start the gentlest of men. Laughing & joking amonst themselves and allowing us into their world.
The youngest of the three, Kwede, never let the other two forget that he was merely 72 years old and the other two were at least 7 years older. This was not only done jokingly, but also showed the deep respect that he had for the older men.
Kwede came to Robben Island full of hatred for the apartheid government and with white people in general. Through his education and his exposure to the older generation of Robben Islanders, he began to realize the error in his assumptions. As not all blacks are similar in their beliefs (he being of the PAC & them being of the ANC) neither are whites. He absolutely attributes this to his stay on the Island.

We are very pleased to have heard from the three of them that they would be more than happy to speak with us again before we leave to clarify and expand on the interviews. Music to our ears. Although they said that they did not feel 'prepared' for these interviews today, they spoke eloquantly about literature, Shakespeare & their stay on the island. What more could we ask for? But, they want to review their knowledge of the bard and get back in touch so that they can tell us their favourite lines from the plays. Man, I have an easy and wonderful job!!

Tomorrow, we are off to the British Council in the morning.