Statues commemorating two of history’s most notable figures — Oliver Tambo, one of the driving forces behind South Africa’s liberation from apartheid, and Fidel Castro, figurehead of the Cuban Revolution — have been unveiled in South Africa‘s Free State province.
The unveiling, presided over by Free State Prime Minister Ace Magashule, was timed to coincide with the centenary of Oliver Tambo’s birth and the one-year anniversary of Fidel Castro’s death in Havana at the age of 90.
Numerous dignitaries attended the ceremony, including the Cuban Embassy’s commercial advisor in South Africa, Pedro Arteaga. South Africans who studied in Cuba, and Cuban doctors working in Free State were also present. The event culminated in a rousing performance of Guantanamera, one of Cuba’s most beloved songs.
A member of the African National Congress, ANC, Tambo helped organize civil disobedience campaigns against apartheid during the 1940s. He later went on to serve as ANC president from 1967 to 1991.
Tambo, who died in 1993 at the age of 75, has been quoted as saying he condemed “with all the vehemence I can muster” that for “three quarters of a century we have been victims of white minority rule, which has progressively become more violent against us up to the point where it assumes the forms we are witnessing.”
In neighboring Namibia, one of the main streets of Windhoek, the country’s capital, will be renamed in honor of pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey. He advocated for African descendants across the diaspora to embark on a return — physical, spiritual, cultural and political — to their African roots.