OR Tambo Liberation Route

OR Tambo Liberation Route

To explore the strength, the weakness, the opportunity and threats of the struggle for freedom, so that we can continue to regenerate, reawaken, rebirth, restate and reclaim our Africanness and be citizens of Africa and the globe, free, at peace and secure in the stability, of our communities, societies and nations and on the Continent, and also able to contribute like wise to the human experience.

"I was young; maybe sixteen years old, it was my turn to walk the liberation route, to the Sierra Maestra. We walked and I fell, and had a deep gash on my thigh…it was very painful, they said that I must remain behind while some of my peers were to continue walking where Che, Castro, Camilla walked…I said no, I am not remaining behind, I will walk with my peers…I am glad I made that hard decision. We walked from the beginning to the end and back. I belong to my peer group…" a Cuban comrade and friend, told me this story, she is now in her sixties.

The land is soaked in human blood of freedom fighters that fought relentlessly against the apartheid system, generation after generation for three centuries…the footsteps of millions of people echo on this earth of our country, these footsteps carry a nation which is deeply wounded, alive, walking injured in the struggle against the apartheid system.

What must we do to put behind us, those 342 years of colonialism and apartheid…so that we are a normal loving people, who do not fear to be poor, who see racism everywhere, real or perceived, who want simple things like freedom and peace and to work and make a living?

The Liberation Route is but one way of pondering this possibility. It is a Liberation Route because it was walked, in the early hours of the morning when you can hear the breeze, the leaves and animals yawn; it was walked at noon when the sun, in the middle of the sky, seemed to sing, resting from a long journey of traversing the sky; it was walked at sunset when the sunlight lights up the sky flaunting the purple, green, yellow and mauve colours of a tired day; it was walked in the dark night when everything, including the mountains and trees n their mighty forms, seemed to be asleep and the stars seemed to whistle…it was walked by some people's children:, our brothers, our sisters, our fathers, our mothers our friends, our comrades, who also knew that in that beauty of the land treachery was stalking, sliding, creeping alive and ready to strike.

When we walk the liberation route we walk where they walked, we walk on their blood, and we will hear them if we want to and if we listen carefully. We walk this route because we have come to fetch their humanity; we have come to walk these routes which they walked, so that like them we can carry in our hearts, the aspirations they died for: Freedom, Security and Peace. Also, as we walk the route we state categorically, that they did not die in vain.