Robben Island










President Obama visits the Robben Island prison cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment


…. with a tour guide at the Robben Island lime quarry where a rock memorial was started by Nelson Mandela



President Barack Obama and his family listen to Robben Island prison guide Ahmed Kathrada, who was an inmate with Nelson Mandela




More later


President Obama’s dinner toast in Pretoria, including his recitation from the poem Invictus which has special meaning for Nelson Mandela:

“Much has been said about Madiba today. More will be said in the years to come. This evening, I’d simply like to close with the words that he turned to so often himself, in that cell; the poem he read to the others, in their darkest moments, to give them strength.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

And so I propose a toast: To a man who has always been a master of his fate who taught us that we could be the master of ours, to a proud nation, and South Africa’s unconquerable soul.”


The President tours the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre with Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

109 Responses to “Robben Island”

  1. 1 desertflower
    June 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

    GM, TOD!

  2. 4 africa
    June 30, 2013 at 9:38 am


  3. 5 vitaminlover
    June 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Young Malia and Sasha are getting such a magnificent education and sense and feel of their family history on these trips with their parents and First Grandmother Robinson.

  4. 7 Mellesia Barnett
    June 30, 2013 at 9:43 am

    WOW new post already

  5. June 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

  6. 9 Nena20409
    June 30, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Happy Sunday TODers.

    Good Day, Sunshine.

    Pictures telling majestic stories.

  7. June 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

  8. 13 utaustinliberal
    June 30, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Powerful pictures.

    • 14 anniebella
      June 30, 2013 at 10:06 am

      I agree with all of you, it is amazing for this family to be there. It reminds us all that on a scale of 1-10, that Washington Post journalists is a -10.

  9. 16 utaustinliberal
    June 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

  10. June 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

    • 21 Claire
      June 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Suddenly the MSM will provide full coverage when bushes are there.

      • 22 Lovepolitics2008
        June 30, 2013 at 10:26 am

        Yep. And at this moment, let’s tweet the “journalists” to shame them.

      • 23 Nena20409
        June 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

        You have Nailed it Claire. The Corporate Media would be interested when a disgrace GW Bush, who left this nation bankrupt is on the scene. Then the discussion would be how GW Bush helped “Africa” and how Pres Obama hasn’t measured up and then, they would talk about the GW Bush’s Surge in the Polls…..his favorable ratings.

    • 25 jacquelineoboomer
      June 30, 2013 at 11:04 am

      I consider anything positive in world opinion coming out of this to be yet another masterful stroke by President Obama and the First Lady. They will use her appearance – and, possibly, his and W’s joint appearance, if that’s allowed to happen – to show how the current leader of our country can put aside any of the political discourse toward the betterment of Africa and its people. And their hearts are in it. The African people need our continuation of the moral investment of all of the so-called “richer” countries of the world, and they need it now.

      And my evil twin laughs because it will throw President Obama’s “Africa trip” right back into the bitter faces of the RWNJs.

      And my evil twin’s really evil grandmother wonders if the world court can arrest George W. Bush for war crimes, while he’s on African soil. But I’ll tell her to be what they call “good.”

    • 26 a4alice
      June 30, 2013 at 11:18 am

      are you kidding me? they are finally saying something now that Laura Bush is going to be involved? /smdh But seriously, why am I not surprised?

  11. 27 Bill
    June 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

    For the last few days MTP as been promoting an interview with Assange. He did not appear, and I heard no explanation.

  12. June 30, 2013 at 10:05 am

  13. 48 Layla
    June 30, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Firat at 10:14!!!!I think yeah!!!!

  14. 53 Linda
    June 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Rachel is on Meet the Press

    • 54 Bill
      June 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

      She made Ralph Reed look like the fool he is.

      • 55 Nena20409
        June 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

        Logic, truth, reason and the interpretation of our Constitution that is strictly, singularly based. I have not watched MTP in years and will not. But I get a rundown here and I also would go to HP later……on their Sunday Talk SoundOff blog post……they will break it down generally.

    • 56 anniebella
      June 30, 2013 at 10:20 am

      I don’t watch Rachel Maddow on her own show, and will not watch her on that David Gregory’s MTP show, who is another one I can not stand.

  15. 57 Nena20409
    June 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Charlayne Hunter Gault is now a Contributor for NBC? I thought she worked for PBS?

    She is now on MHP.

    So The Obama’s are meeting up with the GW Bush and wife in Tanzania? Wow….I wonder if that was cooked up during the GW Bush Museum in TX back in April or May?

    • 58 Vicki
      June 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

      GWB tried for Immigration in 2000 and again in 2007. Wouldn’t it be something to see the 2 Presidents unite on Immigration reform?? A woman can dream.

      • 59 Nena20409
        June 30, 2013 at 10:36 am

        He could…..but GW Bush has little influence on the TBGOPers in the House. But I agree 1001% with you…..if GW Bush wants to help, that would be a starting point.

    • 60 Sharon
      June 30, 2013 at 10:39 am

      She was on PBS Newshour Friday.

  16. 61 GGAIL
    June 30, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family.
    Congrats df on first!
    Wonderful coverage this morning Chipsticks.
    Nakamura is a disgrace to journalism.

  17. 62 CEB
    June 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

    “Stone walls do not a prison make/Nor iron bars a cage” from the Cavalier Poet Richard Lovelace, comes to mind when I think of Mandela and other political prisoners who have survived and triumphed.

  18. 63 Nena20409
    June 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

    MHP thus far has provided the ONLY lengthy coverage of the president’s trip on a National TV/Cable or print…..in USA.. PBS did, but not this long.

    I am surprise that Ms. Goodman is not trashing the POTUS as usual…….oops, spoke too soon.

    • 64 Ladyhawke
      June 30, 2013 at 11:02 am

      fNena, as soon as I saw Amy Goodman on the MHP panel I wondered how many nanoseconds it would take for her to criticize President Obama. Let’s just say that Amy did not disappoint. If any of the cable shows want to be absolutely sure that a panelist will criticize President Obama right out of the gate they can never go wrong by booking Amy Goodman.

      • 65 Nena20409
        June 30, 2013 at 11:10 am

        😉 Ladyhawke……I know you don’t mean it…..but. but, but…… 😆

        There is fNena as you addressed me.

        Look who is talking, Nena…….the Most with Typos on TOD 😉 ❓

      • 66 Ladyhawke
        June 30, 2013 at 11:41 am

        Oh geez, sorry Nena that was a major FINGER CHECK. I hit the enter key too fast in my zeal to hammer Amy Goodman.

        • 67 Nena20409
          June 30, 2013 at 11:53 am


          Let who….Nena….without a typo error, ever…..try casting that charge? Nah…..Nena is guilty as charged………

          All in great fun. 😉

  19. 68 amk for obama
    June 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

    amk’s 5-point post-presidential plan

    1. Make Obamas’ to emigrate to Ireland.

    2. Make UN to create a post called “Universal Youth Empowering Ambassador” with a 10-year tenure.

    3. Make UN to create another new post called “Universal Women Empowering Ambassador” with a 10-year tenure.

    4. Make UN to appoint PBO and MO to these posts.

    5. Sit back, relax and enjoy life with G&T.

  20. June 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

    • 75 Nena20409
      June 30, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Those who have POWER never relinquish power willingly. I am thinking of right after the Civil War? Then after 10 yrs, it went darker and the lives of African Americans were terrible.

      Britain after many nations gained their independence, they still had their hooks in many of those Colonized nations……the damage are still very much felt today. Portugal, France, Spain……same thing.

      Right after 1995, with Gingrich and company…..they refused to have Clinton govern unless he went their way……in just about every issue. Dems need to stop playing Nice and drive TBGOPers to total extinction.

  21. June 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

  22. 77 jacquelineoboomer
    June 30, 2013 at 10:37 am

    “Loneliest job in the world.” The image of the President as he looks out of the window from the cell is so reminiscent of the image of him in the White House, early on, as he stood alone and stared out the window there. No comparison in the experiences of Nelson Mandela behind bars and the experiences of Barack Obama behind the glass in the White House, but it still calls to mind the awful burdens of the heroes who walk among us. Their dedication. Their courage. And how we must all learn how to appreciate that dedication and courage, and keep them in our thoughts.

  23. 80 jacquelineoboomer
    June 30, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Excerpt from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings — Maya Angelou

    The caged bird sings
    with a fearful trill
    of things unknown
    but longed for still
    and his tune is heard
    on the distant hill
    for the caged bird
    sings of freedom.

  24. June 30, 2013 at 10:48 am

  25. 82 Claire
    June 30, 2013 at 10:53 am

    President has the right guy in Russia.


    “Reacting to Putin’s claim that he couldn’t extradite the American because there was no such treaty between the United States and Russia, McFaul fired off this reminder: “Over last 5 yrs US has returned 1,700 Russian citizens to Russia w/ 500+ of them being criminal deportations” – a shrewd talking point followed by more chatter about basketball.”

  26. June 30, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Good morning, TOD. I have had to scroll through very quickly this morning before getting on the road. It appears my mother’s ‘going home’ time will be soon…….maybe not today, but likely this week. Only God knows the appointed hour, but all the signs are very evident. My daughter and I saw her yesterday and it’s already like she’s not ‘here’ with us. If her eyes open, it’s like she is looking through you and instead into the beyond. She isn’t eating/can’t swallow, bodily functions are slowly stopping. I will keep you all posted. I know and fell your support, prayers and love.

    • 84 Layla
      June 30, 2013 at 11:10 am

      God bless you and your Mom Lala..keep talking to your Mom, she can hear you.

    • 85 Nena20409
      June 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

      {{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}} with deep hearts. I wish her peaceful journey and passage. Same thing happened to my mom 4 yrs ago……..Please my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

      • 86 HZ
        June 30, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Tnmtngirl, may the comfort of Almighty God surround you and your family today as you go and visit with your mother. Always remember as Layla said, “she can hear you.” I was told to keep talking, and singing to my mother during her days of making her journey because the medical team said that hearing is the last thing that goes. So speak your heart to her ears. Sweetness of gentle and grateful words will be wrapped in her golden baggage, while she is making her peaceful journey to a resting place.

        ((((((((((((((((((((( I will pray for comfort for you, tnmtngirl))))))))))))))))))))HZ

    • 87 CEB
      June 30, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Be safe on the road. My prayers go with you.

    • 88 jacquelineoboomer
      June 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

      We had to say goodbye to my mother in similar fashion almost eight years ago, so I wish you all peace in your hearts at this time. The night before mine passed away, we had the priest come to the house to bless her, and as I was walking outside with him to his car, we both saw shooting stars. I told him even the heavens were excited she was on her way. God bless and keep your mother. For those who believe in heaven, may I say that I believe all the mothers are there to jubilantly greet the newcomers. Let us know how it goes.

    • 89 vcprezofan2
      June 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      {{{{TnMG}}}} Travel safely yourself, I know you drive a bit of a distance.

    • 90 jackiegrumbacher
      June 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Tn, I’m so sorry. This must be very hard for you and your family. Bless all of you in these difficult days.

    • 91 MightyPamela
      June 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      A Peace-filled passage for your Mother, Home to the Light. http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

    • 92 sjterrid
      June 30, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      You, your mother, and family are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

    • June 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      God bless you and your mom. How good that you are able to be there for her. You will always be her ‘little girl’. There is no one in our lives quite like our mothers.

  27. 94 africa
    June 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Our dense media are clueless to history in the making and one already made.

    • 95 Nena20409
      June 30, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Our Press Don’t see people of Color. They don’t see “Africa”. They don’t see Dems or those with Leftie views. 98% that cover this POTUS, see Only through their prism.

      • June 30, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Although I would not put “people of color” and “those with leftie views” in the same category where the MSM is concerned.

        I just came from reading ABC “This week” rush transcript, where George Stephanopoulos gave Julian Assange (and his sidekick emoprog & Daily Kos blogger, Jesselyn Radack) a platform to continue to spread lies about the NSA and US surveillance.

        The MSM has decided that they will give ANYONE, Democrat, leftie, liberal, Black White, rich poor, male, female, a platform, as long as it involves an unmistakable element of Obama-bashing.

        Their refusal to cover this African trip is all about their rabid hostility towards THIS President, because if it were Dubya, we know his visit would be given more than 100% coverage abounding with praise and adulation…

        • 97 Nena20409
          June 30, 2013 at 11:57 am

          The MSM has decided that they will give ANYONE, Democrat, leftie, liberal, Black White, rich poor, male, female, a platform, as long as it involves an unmistakable element of Obama-bashing.

          Yes…..HF2……yes, yes…….that is the Press’ goal.

  28. 98 africa
    June 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

    • 99 a4alice
      June 30, 2013 at 11:36 am

      good find africa – tweeted!

    • June 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Bob Cesca has a great pragmatic progressive blog. He’s not always 100% sensitive to privilege, but he regularly tears Greenwald “a new one” and has done stellar reporting on the lies / half-truths and utter idiocy of the Snowden nontroversy. (And luckily, we aren’t purists who demand perfection.) A good visit for TODers who’d like to add to their proprag “list”.

  29. 101 carolyn
    June 30, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I believe our President is drawing great strength and inner determination from this visit. He knows the road ahead is not easy, but nothing compared to Nelson Mandela’s. I see him “alone” but not alone. He is deeply contemplative and strong. All our prayers are with him.

    • 102 jacquelineoboomer
      June 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

      I agree, and well said. He’ll never be really “alone,” not with what’s in that mind and heart.

    • 103 Layla
      June 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

      So nicely said Carolyn,,,ty

      • 104 HZ
        June 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

        Good Morning/Afternoon my dear Chips and TOD Family. A beautiful Sun. to all of you.

        I just want to leave these with my TOD family in thinking of President Nelson Mandela and today’s journey with our beloved President, Barack Obama.

        “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
        Nelson Mandela.

        “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela

        “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.” Nelson Mandela

        ” I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela

        “In my country, we go to prison first and then become President.” Nelson Mandela.

        May Almighty God keep, comfort, and protect two beautiful and great men in our presence: President Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama.

        (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Sweet and Gentle Blessings to and many healing words to keep us moving forward )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))HZ

    • 106 CEB
      June 30, 2013 at 11:35 am

      PBO is a man who thinks and feels deeply; one who learns from and is inspired by the courageous examples of others and turns all of this into actions. You are right, Carolyn.

      One of my favorite pictures that depict his reflection, his desire to be in the moment and to soak up all of the experience comes from the 2012 Inauguration when after his speech everyone was filing out, he turned to look once more at the assembled crowds and what they represented.

  30. 107 amk for obama
    June 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

  31. June 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

Comments are currently closed.







Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.



RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Joe: Republicans screaming about debt ceiling now went along with Trump three times
  • Are Trump's attacks elevating DeSantis' profile?
  • 'Follow your passions' advice limits women in STEM fields, study shows
  • Robert Carlyle looks back while looking ahead with 'The Full Monty'
  • 'Built From the Fire' remembers the Tulsa Massacre 102 years later
  • 'Some of us are going to vote no on principle': House Democrat on debt deal
  • How abortion impacted Wisconsin's Supreme Court election
  • DeSantis rails against 'elites' in Iowa, seems to ignore his 'elite' education
  • Chris Christie set to enter the 2024 presidential race
  • Rep. Clyburn: We are at the limit in large measure because of what happened under Trump



Blog Stats

  • 43,364,709 hits

%d bloggers like this: