Nelson Mandela

Arthur Moleko

Nelson Mandela was and continues to be a global icon for peace and cohesion.

We were lucky to have a chat with the Chairperson of Nelson Mandela Day Australia Arthur Moleko who talked about his involvement with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the wonderful work that they at the Nelson Mandela Day Commemorative Committee (NMDCC) are doing in Melbourne.

NMDCC was founded five years ago by the members of the African Australian communities. [It’s] vision is to continue to operate as platform for constructive debate on issues affecting
African Australians. Engage youth and educate general public.

Living under Apartheid was sufficient to propel anyone into action
— Arthur Moleko
Refugees don’t have the luxury of choice. Australia chose me
— Arthur Moleko

The Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Day Commemorative Committee, Arthur Motsetse Moleko was born in South Africa. In the mid-1970s as a young man growing under apartheid regime, he became involved with the Congress of South African Students and other youth movements where they tackled issues relating to black education and was inadvertently led to interest in politics.

“Living under Apartheid was sufficient to propel anyone into action” says Arthur. In particular, landmark events such as the Sharpville massacre and June 16 student uprise. These events and others ultimately led many to flee their country of birth in search of freedom and allies to assist in the liberation struggle.

Arthur learnt about Nelson Mandela and other prominent South African leaders like Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe and Walter Sisulu from childhood. These are some of the people who truly inspired him to get involved in movements that promote peace, equality and betterment of the quality of life for all. “Refugees don’t have the luxury of choice. Australia chose me” he continues. Arthur began his search for freedom in February 1977.  He would find himself as a refugee of many countries including his first port of call, kingdom of Lesotho, Tanzania, Libya, China, USA and finally Australia.