Mandela Prison Guard Talks To Warwick Academy

September 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

Warwick Academy recently held an online presentation for staff and students with Christo Brand, a prison guard and friend to Nelson Mandela.

A spokesperson said, “Warwick Academy was thrilled to have an online presentation for all their staff and students with Mr Christo Brand, who was Nelson Mandela’s prison guard and became his great friend.

“Mr Andrew Russell hosted the presentation, which took us all through the early life of Mr Brand and Mr Mandela, who both grew up in rural South Africa and both attribute the country life for their respect and acceptance of all people.

“Mr Brand was a white man living in apartheid South Africa. His early days were spent on a farm and respect for your elders despite one’s colour was drilled into him by his father which came to play a vital and important value that helped created history.

“He and his family moved to the city where he attended school and upon leaving it was mandatory to give two years of service to the army. Mr Brand wanted to be an electrician and had no desire at all to join the army to kill black people.

“Fortunately, he was told about the opportunity to become a prison guard to avoid service and so his journey with Nelson Mandela began.

“When Mandela arrived at Robben Island, he was in solitary confinement and Mr Brand was assigned to him. For the next 27 years, the two of them formed a secret respect and friendship that lasted through the whole time Mandela was imprisoned and became public once Mandela was released.

“Throughout their time together, Mandela constantly talked about education and the importance of it, telling Mr Brand to continue his studies over the years. Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of a farm worker can become President of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.

“When students asked Mr Brand about the three words he would use to describe his friend, he said Mandala was honest, humble and polite. He said Mandela stayed the same person from prisoner to President to retirement; he never changed. He was humble and down to earth, always saying to study hard and make your parents proud of you.

“Mr Brand’s very close and long time friendship with Nelson Mandela gave all the students and parents a fascinating and such an important insight into this incredible man.

“Mr Brand can be found on Instagram at christobrand60 and Facebook as Christo Brand.”

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