LOOK: The (fake) Ethiopian passport Mandela used to visit Lagos in 1962

by Chi Ibe

Mandela fake passport

In 1962, Nelson Mandela, with the agreement of his colleagues in the struggle, began to visit across Africa and Europe to drum up support for the anti-apartheid struggle, that was about to incorporate violence. Amongst his stops was Lagos.

Issued in 1962, under the false name David Motsamayi, he was not allowed to travel at that time,” Sheger Media explains. “Upon his return to South Africa he was charged and arrested for this trip. During his time in Ethiopia he received military training, most likely in Holeta Military Academy.

In his words: “Ethiopia has always held a special place in my own imagination and the prospect of visiting [it] attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African. Meeting the emperor himself would be like shaking hands with history.”

A man who would, literally, go to any length for his own people, and for his own conscience.

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