News Visit to Bradford Forster Academy from Chris Lubbe, Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard

In April, Bradford Forster Academy were delighted to host Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard, Chris Lubbe, who spent the day speaking to all the students and staff.

Drawing on his incredible story of resistance against apartheid, Chris kept us spellbound as he took us on a journey of discovery about his life.

Chris grew up in a ghetto in Durban, South Africa, met Steve Biko and wrote a letter to the Queen at the age of nine to ask her to help in the struggle against apartheid. She later showed him the letter when she met him at Buckingham Palace many years later when Chris worked for Nelson Mandela. She had kept the letter and it had inspired her to write to the South African president.

Chris also experienced first-hand the brutality of apartheid when he was tortured in prison and he later met and worked with his torturers, who he forgave and who is now a good friend. Chris’s story includes themes such as fear, determination, courage, love and forgiveness, all in the face of blatant racial discrimination.

Bradford Forster Academy, a Church of England school on Fenby Avenue, BD4, has four Christian values, Hope, Endurance, Forgiveness and Trust, and each value has a hero. Nelson Mandela is the forgiveness hero and it was especially poignant that students could hear from someone who knew him so well.


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