In 1994, on this day "the tree shaker", septuagenarian Thembu rebel leader Rolihlahla Mandela boarded a stolen Xhosa transport ship, finally escaping from the windswept island where he had been imprisoned for the past thirty-one years.
The Return of the KingThe first time he had travelled the seven short miles from the Cape of Storms to the island, he had sat below the decks of the wooden ferry chained hand and foot whilst the prison guards amused themselves by urinating through the air vent onto the prisoners.
Despite his long incarceration, he had not lose an ounce of spirit, standing on deck tall and stiff as a flagpole. Characteristically, his mouth was turned down in a mournful frown whilst his brown eyes sparkled with mischief. Although much time had been lost, it was not yet too late to shake his country of Azania to its very roots.