We were very pleased to welcome journalist and former TV news anchor Einar Lunde to the College on Wednesday where he spoke eloquently and passionately about his experiences in South Africa during the turbulent post-apartheid period. Deputy Rektor Alistair Robertson, himself a South African, introduced him to a full auditorium of students, staff and outside visitors.

The following is taken from Alistair’s introduction:

Before introducing our guest journalist, I would like to speak about the value of the printed word. When I was a student Mandela, along with many others, was banned in South Africa – it was a criminal offence to quote him or refer to him in any way. I first read his writing during a visit to Kenya in the 1970s: I bought this book and it confirmed what we had suspected, that he was a democrat, not a terrorist. I smuggled this book into South Africa and it remains a cherished possession: the single most important book I have read in terms of its impact on my views, including my choice to leave South Africa to teach at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC in Swaziland.

Einar Lunde worked as a news anchor for NRK from the late 1960s, before travelling extensively through Africa as a journalist. In the 1970s and 80s, the Nordic governments were supportive of the anti-apartheid struggle in ways in which the United Kingdom and the US were not, in recognizing the moral significance of Mandela and other South African political prisoners. In this way, the small country of Norway had an effect much bigger than its size, in the way its representatives drew attention to the struggle against racism in South Africa. Einar Lunde was such a representative – barred by the apartheid government from visiting South Africa (he tells me he managed to find secret ways into the country nonetheless!) his credibility was obviously recognized, as he was granted an interview soon after Madiba’s release in 1990.

Einar, it is a huge pleasure to welcome you to our nordic Kamhlaba – our little world of magnificently different people!