Liberation struggle stalwart Denis Goldberg recently visited the International School of Hout Bay (ISHB) and interacted with the pupils.
Mr Goldberg addressed the pupils not only with many an interesting and amazing story, but also taught some serious life lessons that cannot be learned from anyone who has not had the vast experience of life and endured what he has.
He spoke about prejudice, bias and bigotry and how to search your conscience for what is right and not to bow to simple opposition.
He told the pupils about his parents who taught him about human rights and how to oppose prejudice and stand up for the oppressed.
It was interesting to see how the younger pupils reacted to both his warmth as a person, but also to his life experience.
The hugs he received after addressing the senior primary pupils, were indicative of how much they appreciated his wit and wisdom as well as grandfatherly geniality and friendship.
The high school pupils were more interested in his experiences in the liberation struggle in the ANC and as a prisoner of the apartheid regime and how he endured his long period of incarceration.
They were also interested in his concerns for South Africa today and how they, as citizens, could enable progress and make a difference.
“It was interesting to hear the opinion of someone who had helped build the ANC to where we are politically today,” was one student’s thoughts. Another was appreciative of the amazing knowledge that Mr Goldberg has. “I was amazed at how much he knew, but even more so that he would give an opinion on something that he was not so familiar with and tell us that it was his best opinion or belief on the subject. He was so forthright and honest.”
Mr Goldberg has deep insight into humanity and a broad view of both our past as well as our present situation in South Africa. He also had farsighted views on our future with circumspect opinions of where we are going and where we could go.
* Gemma Allen is the administrator of the primary school at the International School of Hout Bay.