Twenty years ago this weekend, Nelson Mandela was sworn in as president of South Africa. It was pinnacle of a period of remarkable change in that country – that included Mandela’s freedom from prison after 27 years, and the end of the Apartheid era in which blacks and other non-white South Africans were denied the rights and freedoms that whites had.
Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected president a year later. While he left office in 1999 and died last year, the period of change he helped usher in still defines much about South Africa today, but not everything.
Vuyiswa Tulelo has experienced that change, and now she’s helping to shape her country’s future. Tulelo grew up as Apartheid ended and Mandela came to power. She’s now Consul General for South Africa in the Midwest, based in Chicago.