A long journey to freedom

Anti-apartheid activist Mkhuseli Jack's personal journey from near slavery to revered movement leader is one fueled by relentless optimism.

When I arrived in Cape Town, South Africa this summer for a gathering of international peace and justice activists, it was the longest I had ever traveled from my home in New York. Yet, many of the people I met there — including those from South Africa, and even Cape Town itself — had my journey beat. That is to say, as I learned their stories, and the obstacles they had overcome to arrive in the same place as me, I knew my trip was a stone’s throw by comparison. Case in point: Mkhuseli Jack, my guest on this new episode of We Are Many, was born into a situation akin to slavery, as he describes it. Yet, today, he is a revered figure of the anti-apartheid struggle and a successful businessman. His leadership of the Consumer Boycott Campaign in the city of Port Elizabeth during the 1980s played a major role in destabilizing the regime. In this short interview, conducted over morning coffee, you’ll hear about his incredible personal journey, and the infectious optimism that continues to fuel it. Also, be sure to stay tuned to the very end for a 60-voice African choir singing the South African National Anthem.

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