The Oliver Tambo Walk

The Oliver Tambo Walk runs along the upper section of Fort Hare’s historic Freedom Square. It commemorates the walk made by Tambo in 1991 as the University’s first black chancellor. “He walked up, leading the graduation ceremony procession… You could see how the stroke he had suffered while in exile… had ravaged his body and how he had overcome this through sheer willpower,” recalled an onlooker. Tambo himself graduated from Fort Hare in 1941 and went on to become the ANC’s president-in-exile, walking many momentous paths in a life spanning more than seven decades.

This photograph captures another of Oliver Tambo’s memorable walks – this one into a crowd of welcoming supporters as he arrives in Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in 1960 after an elaborate escape from South Africa into exile. ANC stalwart Dr Frene Ginwala, who arranged a travel permit for Tambo courtesy of the government of India, stands in the doorway. After a warm reception in Tanzania, Tambo will begin an introductory tour of independent African states to establish the External Mission of the ANC. © Drum Social Histories / Bailey’s African History Archive / Africa Media Online