Mandela, from Parliament and Prison

Mandela, from Parliament and Prison

Reporting and filing two complete stories in one day is not the schedule I normally run on, but talking to people about the person who helped them clarify their purpose and vision is powerful stuff.

I started out the morning visiting one of the prisons where Mandela was held–one that is still maximum security–for this story for USA Today: Prisons that held Mandela did not crush freedom’s spirit.

In the afternoon, I went to South Africa’s Parliament, which was holding a special session. Initially I was directed to this overflow room for the public (as you can imagine, nobody was singing and dancing at the prison complex):

Both there and in the main hall where the speeches were given, I noticed that there were kids in the audience. A lot of kids. I hadn’t thought of this as a family-friendly outing, but I was wrong.

I approached people who looked like grannies, mums, dads, and uncles–as well as a couple of teens who came on their own–for another story for USA Today about the day of tribute in the legislative capital of South Africa.

One mother, pictured above with her family, told me that they came to “celebrate the values and struggle and appreciate what they’re growing up with. The values that they must live with, that’s very important.”