On April 19, 2016, Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee, a member of the Board of Governors of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, delivered a heart-warming presentation at the University of California, Berkeley, on his family’s perilous journey in South Africa during apartheid — as told in his new book — Into that Heaven of Freedom: The impact of Apartheid on an Indian Family’s Diasporic History. Describing his life in the margin of white consciousness and the increasing racism of the white government, he sets out how his family survived this unbearable time.
“This book is a story and it is my story that I was only able to write it when I could forgive. I hated the whites of South Africa and I am honest enough to say that. Today, I am honest enough to say that I love the whites of South Africa but I do not say it out of condensation. [I say it] because of the people that have come into my life.”
Speaking largely to a public audience, Dr. Keshavjee emphasizes that, over time, abhorrent discrimination was eradicated through nonviolent movements by unbreakable leaders such as Nelson Mandela. Dr. Keshavjee, in his signature candour and passion, grips the audience with stories of his own family’s struggles that will move you to tears of joy and sadness, gut wrenching anger and soaring happiness.
About the presenter
Although recently retired from serving for 32 years at Aiglemont, Dr. Keshavjee lectures on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Islamic Law at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, where he is presently a member of the Board of Governors. He also directs training programmes on family and commercial mediation for the Ismaili Muslim community worldwide. Dr Keshavjee is a graduate of Queen’s University Canada and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. A lawyer by profession, he was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn London and Osgoode Hall in Canada. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Image: Portrait, youtube.com/watch?v=-OlbtC5CGhM (Fair use)