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"We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they have all learned to live together in the same box!"

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Tea with Tobias (Philip Tobias)

This morning Prof Philip Tobias passed away. He was an incredible man that inspired loads of people and last year I had the privilege of having tea with him. In preparing to start this blog I contacted a few people who I find inspiring, including Prof Tobias. And he invited me to have tea with him... I was really nervous but he was so kind and accommodating and had even ordered petit fours for us. The longer I spent with him the more blown away I was by this kind man... He was a true icon and his office was like a mini museum, filled with pictures of him and loads of famous people... My real reason was to find out how he came to have such a heightened sense of equality. He was a man who stood up against apartheid. He told me how at some points in his university career he had undercover policemen following him! His answer was that he knew no different. He had been brought up in a very open and non prejudiced home. His school and university career was also before the laws that introduced legal segregation. he says as a result he knew no different! What an amazing thing- to only know integration! Prof Tobias will be remembered for his amazing contributions to science but he will also be honored for his amazing fight for equality in South Africa!