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Lakes Students Attend Speech by Ndaba Mandela

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Ndaba Mandela gives a speech to high school students.

Ndaba Mandela gives a speech to high school students.

Ndaba Mandela gives a speech to high school students.

Rachel Froehlich, News Editor

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Last Wednesday, Feb. 15, a group of students from Lakes Community High School Social Studies teacher, Eric Vichnick’s International Relations Honors class took a trip down to Crystal Lake South High School to hear a speech given by Ndaba Mandela. As the grandson of Nelson Mandela and the Founder and Chairman of the Africa-Rising Foundation, Mandela travels the globe speaking to share his grandfather’s legacy and discuss how he plans to continue what his grandfather had started.

Students from both Lakes and Antioch Community High School attended the speech along with several students from other area schools. Mandela began with his road to legacy as a child growing up in South Africa, transitioning into topics that centered around the economic potential in Africa.

After briefly touching on the dangers of HIV, the speech touched on the process of empowering youth and the importance of the interconnectivity of education and the power of individual dreams before ending with an emotionally charged chant, “Viva Mandela viva!”

“I thought Ndaba Mandela’s point on how people are incredibly misinformed on about the ‘real Africa’ and its issues was his most interesting,” said junior Cami Bowen.

Ndaba spoke about the misconceptions that people outside of Africa typically have towards the customs and landscape of South Africa, stating that “people outside the continent of Africa have very limited knowledge on Africa,” and that he “had to do something about this misconception.”

“I wish he had taught us more about what specifically the misconceptions are and how we, as a society, can eliminate those stereotypes, but his presence was powerful and I’m glad I got the opportunity to hear him speak,” Bowen said.

At the height of his speech, Mandela explained the fundamental lessons surrounding leadership that he learned from his grandfather.

“Leadership is about leading from the back. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason; so we could listen more and talk less,” Mandela said.

This is not the first time that students from Lakes has attended speeches through the International Relations Honors course, seeing Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, in the past, but the first speech by Mandela. Vichnick explained that this is an opportunity to understand the strife in South Africa that sparked Nelson Mandela’s road to prominence.

“Some of the students will be learning about apartheid and hopefully they can make the connection,” Vichnick said.

For more information on Nelson Mandela’s legacy how Ndaba Mandela’s has continued his philosophy, visit http://ndabamandela.co/.

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Lakes Students Attend Speech by Ndaba Mandela