South Africa today is largely different from the South Africa of the generations before us. The apartheid government controlled black settlement, movement and labor through its laws from 1948 until the country’s first democratic election in the early 1990s. The Mayibuye Archive, located at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town, includes documents from the liberation movement. It is one of the largest archives in the country that show the country’s struggle.
The students from the University of Missouri visited the archive to learn more about the struggle and do journalism to promote these historic documents. It is one step further in the relationship between the University of Missouri and the University of Western Cape that accounts for the oldest ever relationship between universities in history.
In every interview, the university students asked what the interviewee’s favorite “Mandela Moment” was. We heard intimate stories from Mandela’s bodyguard, his fellow activists and the Australian photographer that took the leader’s last pictures.
The Story of the University of Missouri South Africa Exchange Program
Starting in 1986, the University of Missouri South Africa Education Program was the first academic partnership between an American university and a non-White South African university during the apartheid era. The University of Missouri pursued this partnership as a way to build something positive after divesting from American companies doing business in South Africa. They chose the University of the Western Cape because of their commitment to the struggle against apartheid. In the nearly 30 years of the partnership, the two Universities have worked together on projects that have expanded our understanding of the world.