By Ashley Kim & Maja Neal. On April 9th, we went to visit the famous prisons on Robben Island. It was very special because Robben Island was where Nelson Mandela was held for 17 years of his life. Another thing that was really interesting was that the man guiding us around the prison was an ex-political prisoner who had been held on Robben Island as well. Also, we got to meet one of the former warders from the prison. His name was Christoff Brand who became one of President Mandela’s best friends. After the tour of the prison, we took a tour of the island itself. It was cool to see the buildings that were built really long ago. There were also many graves for lepers (people with the disease called leprosy) that used to live on the island long before it was a prison. If you had leprosy, you were sent to Robben Island, to be out of sight and out of mind (there was no cure for leprosy).
Here is a fun fact: Nelson Mandela’s prison number was 466/64 because he was the 466th prisoner to arrive on Robben Island in 1964.