Lulu Mnguni, South African high commissioner to Nigeria, recently went down memory lane in recalling the role Nigeria played during the apartheid era in his country.
While speaking as a special guest at a forum organised by the Abuja Writers Forum, Mnguni narrated how the iconic Nelson Mandela, who led the struggle against apartheid forces, came to Nigeria in 1963 to solicit financial assistance.
“Mandela came to Nigeria in February 1963 to beg for money to help in the struggle for the people of our country and he was given the needed support,” he was quoted as saying.
“Nigeria as a country helped South Africa a lot in the struggle for freedom; I want to use this opportunity to thank Nigerians for the role they played in our struggle.”
“The African National Congress (ANC) was earlier in the struggle dominated by professors and other educated people, but Mandela later changed it and made people the centre of the struggle.”
Mnguni explained that people saw Mandela as a symbol of struggle; he was an intelligent lawyer, who did not compromise in spite of the contradiction happening in his country at that time.
While speaking on the life and times of Mandela, Lynette Johnson of House Mosadi, said even after Mandela was jailed in 1964, he continued with the struggle in confinement.