The great-grandson of Nelson Mandela is taking a tour New Brunswick and Ontario to promote cultural inclusion in political affairs worldwide.
Siyabulela Mandela, whose great-grandfather was an iconic South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, was in Fredericton Wednesday doing what he refers to as unofficial diplomatic work: speaking on social justice, equality and the resurgence of racism in politics.
“People are talking about closing borders and people talking about building the walls. I think as communities, we have a collective responsibility to offer a different narrative and that narrative will be a narrative of reconciliation,” he said.
“Instead of looking at the things that divide us as a human race, it’s high time we look at things that unite us.”
Mandela spent early April touring eastern Canada, creating a conversation of acceptance through immigration and race integration.
“He’s living with his grandfather’s legacy but also he’s forging his own path” said Janet Thompson-Price, an attendee at his immigration summit in Fredericton.
“Coming from war-torn Bosnia, I can really appreciate Mr. Mandela’s stance on international and domestic conflict resolution,” said Ksenia Sehic, a resident of Fredericton.
Education Minister Dominic Cardy met with Mandela to exchange ideas on peaceful co-existence. Cardy gave him a tour of his former school, Fredericton High, and he met with Premier Blaine Higgs.
“We have some similarities here: New Brunswick with the long history of tensions we’ve had between First Nations communities, between French and English,” said Cardy.
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South Africa will choose a new president May 8, and when Mandela returns home he will assist with election campaigning.
“I’m going to join forces with the leaders of the African National Congress as we do door-to-door and we visit different communities and motivate our people to come out and make their voices heard through the ballot,” said Mandela.