“THE NATIVE OF NOWHERE IS BACK WHERE HE BELONGS”
By: Nomvula Ndlovu
Renowned anti-apartheid journalist Nathaniel Ndazana Nakasa received a long anticipated hero’s welcome at the King Shaka International Airport in Durban on Tuesday.
Years of hard work by the South African government paid off as the long overdue mortal remains of the legendary Nat Nakasa were brought back to his homeland after 50 years in exile.
His flag-draped casket was led by members of Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans in honour of the hero.
The Nakasa family, representatives from the government and compatriots gathered at the Dube Cargo Terminal to celebrate the life of Nakasa.
Nakasa died after falling from a building in New York in an alleged suicide in 1965. He was forced to leave the country when the apartheid government refused to allow him a passport after he was awarded the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.
The Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa applauded Nakasa and the government for it effort.
“Nat was a brave man that strived for his country. Today we mark the journey from 50 years ago. We are honoured to bring him back to his ancestral land,” said Mthethwa.
On behalf of the family, Dr Sipho Masondo expressed his joy at having their beloved son back home.
“We came back in victory, Nat was not about sadness but he was a joyful man. As the Nakasa family we thank the South African government for supporting us through this journey,” he said.
The Deputy Mayor, Nomvuzo Shabalala, acknowledge all the people involved in the repatriation of Nakasa.
“We appreciate the effort by government, family members and all those who were involved to bring Nat home,” Shabalala said.
She added, “Today is a sense of closure because the native is back home. It brings closure to the horrific chapter that the Nakasa family and the South African community has been through over the past 50 years.”
Nakasa’s remains will be reburied at the Heroes’ Acre in Chesterville on the 13th of September 2014.