- Posted December 8, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Nelson Mandela: Your memories
My meeting with Mandela in Durban
That wasa fine evening oneday in 1995 May ...place N shed Port Durban....Indaaba south Africa May1995...
more than 500 to 1000 travel and tourism delegates from all over the world were gathered in N shed Port Durban south Africa. I was with Indian Team of Travel journalists in the Dinner...we were invited by South Africa Tourism Board. so we were in the front row of the Dinner meet. President Nelson Mandela came exactly at 7.30 pm...That day nobody was allowed to click their cameras since Mandela was an eye -operated . so we were told by officers not to touch our cameras. so we did not click . He came very near to me and I saluted with " Your Excellency President...Iam from India ...he smled ...and said .." yes i love India..which part do you belong ' he asked me ..and I told him that i was from Tamilnadu. he was so glad to havea handshake with me and he stood infront of me...i was holding my wine glass...President told us to enjoy His Country ...A Rainbow Country...and Then he moved from our Table...I had to Thank His Excellency Jacques De vos then Indian Consular General for takinga journalists group...along with me Ms Dina Vakl of Times of India, Ms Cuckoo Paul from Economics Times of India, and Ms Marle Almeda from Business today and Mr dharma Rajan and Ravindera seth...all were from travel journalism...
whatan impressive meeting we had with Nelson Mandela...we have travelled to Sowetto and then we met Winnie mandela too and i saw her Home and we hada wonderful lunch at Sowetto in Vandies famous Restaraount..
we could not forget Mandela since he appeared so simple and humble....
I met him in 1996 also. This time t was the Opening ceremony of ICC DURBAN ...a wonderful conference centre....
South Africa isa wonderful country i made 4 visits from Chennai during 1994 and , 95. 96 97.....
In the process of Meeting with President Mandela i met my South African Indian Friends like M.k. Bobby Naidu and Mr Devon Moodley and Mr naidu and Mrs Kamala and many Tamil speaking citizens of South Africa.