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South Africans Remember Nelson Mandela's Historic Release from Prison

Thirty years ago today, the late anti-Apartheid veteran Nelson Mandela was released from prison after spending nearly three decades behind bars.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the late South African anti-Apartheid veteran Nelson Mandela's historic release from prison.

Mandela or Madiba, as he was affectionately known, was released from the Victor Verster Prison, now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, after serving the remaining 14 months of his 27-year long sentence.


Thirty years ago today, Mandela walked the streets as a free man alongside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and hundreds of fellow African National Congress (ANC) comrades. It was a historic day for Black South Africans and thousands came out to celebrate the moment and to listen to Mandela speak.

Following the infamous Rivonia Trial which took place from 1963-1964, Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni and several others struggle veterans were sentenced to prison.

Mandela's 27-year long sentence was split between three prisons. The first prison, and perhaps the better known of the three, was located on Robben Island and saw Mandela spending 18 years there as prisoner "4664". In 1982, he was then moved to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town and finally, Victor Verster Prison following health problems.

As part of alleged efforts to prevent further bloodshed and a smooth transition into democracy, then President F.W. de Klerk announced that he would release Mandela from prison.

Years later, South Africans are still examining the different ways in which Mandela's legacy has and is being engaged. While some mourn the fact that Mandela's ANC is no longer the same liberation movement that now rules the country, others express hope at the country's political landscape becoming better. A number of commemorative events are taking place across South Africa today in remembrance of that historic day.

Take a look at some of the tributes in remembrance of Mandela's release below:







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Still from '28 jours'

Jahëna Louisin’s Debut Short Film, ‘28 jours,’ is an Homage to Black Fatherhood

Troubled by portrayal of Black fathers in mainstream media, the Haitian-Reunionese filmmaker set out to make a film about loss and humanity.

"Cinema Africa" is your guide to African film. Writer Ciku Kimeria is highlighting new movies and documentaries that tell fascinating stories or questioning prevailing narratives and occasionally returning to the classics that paved the way for a new generation of filmmakers.

28 jours (28 days) the debut short film from a Lome raised, Haitian-Reunionese filmmaker, Jahëna Louisin is the story of a widower and his eleven year old daughter going through an interesting stage in her transition to womanhood—her first period. As they grapple with the brutal loss of his wife and her mother, the two find themselves confronting this life-changing moment on their own.

On a call with the call with the first-time filmmaker hunkered down in Lome, Togo, we discuss her debut film that won the Togolese edition of the "7 jours pour 1" film award and was this year's official selection for an international fiction film at the largest North American film festival focusing on films from Africa and the diaspora, Vues D'Afrique in Canada.

Read our conversation below.

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