25 Years Ago – The Vote to Free South Africa

Flashback to 25 years ago. Author shares an Insider’s Account of a Free South Africa in “No Ordinary Life – Awakenings”

“Who wouldn’t want to be there in the middle of it all, seeing the election first-hand? You see, I was working at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, and selected as an official IOC Election Observer – an eyewitness to the historic first-ever democratic elections,” commented Author Mary Byron.

That was the year Nelson Mandela was elected President, during the first nonracial elections, where the entire country finally had the right to vote. The world rallied behind this momentous occasion and you can read about the joy and obstacles of that period in No Ordinary Life – Awakenings from the perspective of a young U.S. Diplomat.

“The dark line in the distance ran at least a mile long — it took a moment to register what we were seeing — people in line waiting to vote — to vote for their first time ever. As we watched, mouths open, the procession shuffled a few steps at a time toward the distant polling station. My heart stuck in my throat. No one spoke. No words could express the feeling at such a profound sight,” as described by Mary Ann Byron as she recounts a gripping story of her two-year assignment at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa.

She continued, “It was anyone’s guess how many would actually show up to vote. But show up they did — first-time voters — old, young, disabled, robust, poor, uneducated, gangs, workers — in long zigzag lines rather than one straight one just to get closer. They were crying, dancing… in total jubilation…” You may read more in Chapter 20 “Countdown to the Elections” in No Ordinary Life – Awakenings.

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