From April 12-16, UPK author and Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada will be visiting the University of Kentucky and Lexington as an honored guest of The University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences and its yearlong initiative, “Kentucky and South Africa, Different Lands, Common Ground.”
During the 1950s, Ahmed Kathrada was an active member of the Indian National Congress which began to collaborate with the African National Congress, an organization that was banned in 1960. Despite increasing pressure from the South African government and many detentions, Kathrada continued to work with ANC leaders. On July 11, 1963, Kathrada was arrested and placed on trial alongside other revolutionaries including Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, receiving a life sentence for the charges of sabotage and attempt to overthrow the government. On October 15, 1989, Kathrada, along with the several other South African anti-Apartheid leaders, was released after serving thirty years of his sentence. Now 82 years old, the world-renowned anti-apartheid activist is a man of overflowing ideas, stories, and experiences.
Kathrada’s four-day stay in Lexington includes the following events:
- Stateside opening of “Ahmed ‘Kathy’ Kathrada: A South African Activist for Non-Racialism and Democracy,” an exhibit devoted to Kathrada and his work with non-racialism and democracy at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, in the Webb Museum of Anthropology at Lafferty Hall, UK campus;
- Honorary degree convocation at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, at the Recital Hall of the Singletary Center for the Arts;
- Book signing for Kathrada’s newly released memoir, No Bread for Mandela, at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Lexington Green.