Nelson Mandela is larger than life, as the little ladies discovered when we
traveled to Cape Town, South Africa and encountered the gigantic statues of
Mandela and the country’s 3 other Nobel Peace Prize laureates – Albert Luthuli,
Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk – in Nobel Square at the V&A Waterfront.

Irritated as I asked them to pose for pictures in front of the statue of Mandela, interrupting
their carefree darting in between the bronze statues, they wanted to know who the
person was that I was making such a big deal over. I explained that Nelson
Mandela was the former president of South Africa

I also explained that, like President Obama, whose inauguration we had attended a couple of years earlier, was the country’s first black president, which was significant because like America, South Africa had a very recent history of segregation and oppression.

While the little ladies were much littler at the time, just 9 and 6, they were big fans of the movie musical
Hairspray, in which segregation is a main theme, and thus had a frame of reference on the topic.

Ferries depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront to Robben Island, and though we did not go to the island, we did stop by the museum at the gateway, which focuses on the fight against apartheid.
Isn’t awesome that a big statue and a little museum encountered while traveling ended providing my children with a history lesson they’ll remember?