Ahmed 'Kathy' Kathrada exhibit on display at the MSU Museum
When most people think of South Africa or apartheid, generally Nelson Mandela is the name that comes to mind.
While he was an extremely important influence in fighting the racial discrimination in South Africa, he didn’t work alone. His right hand man, Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada, was also a driving force in helping South Africa take on the view of “non-racialism.”
Kathrada was born Aug. 21, 1929. From a young age, he witnessed firsthand the racism and discrimination that overwhelmed South Africa. He joined the African National Congress and was imprisoned for his involvement in its anti-apartheid activities. Eighteen years later, Kathrada was released. While in prison, he completed several bachelor’s degrees and two honorary degrees.
After his imprisonment, Kathrada served on several leadership committees, was elected as a member of parliament and became chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council, a position he still holds.
Kathrada also holds an honorary doctorate degree from MSU. That’s just one of the reasons curator Kurt Dewhurst wanted to bring the exhibit to campus.
“He’s a remarkable figure in so many ways,” he said. “There’s much to be learned from his life and his story today still.”