Madiba Greets Well-Wishers in Soweto

© Dr Peter Magubane
Madiba greets well-wishers in Soweto.
After his release from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela returned to his house in Soweto.
Soweto is a township of the City of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa, on the border of the city's mining belt in the south. Its name is an English abbreviation for SOuth WEstern TOwnships. Nelson Mandela moved here in 1946 with his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase. When they divorced in 1957, he was joined in the house by his second wife, Winnie Madikizela in 1958. He spent little time here as his role in struggle activities became all-consuming and he was forced underground in 1961. He lived on the run until his arrest and imprisonment in 1962.

Following his release from prison in 1990 Nelson Mandela returned to his home in Soweto for just 11 days and then moved to his house in Houghton, a posh suburbs of Johannesburg.

After his release, he spent time meeting residents of Soweto, many remembering him and his family from when he lived there. One person, after meeting Mandela, said: "It was like seeing heaven with my own eyes. It was a dream come true to meet him. I touched his hand and didn't wash it for two weeks. It just felt wrong.”

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice.” ~ Nelson Mandela

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