Chris Lubbe and students

Students were awed at a recent talk given by invited guest Chris Lubbe, inspirational speaker and coach and formerly Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard. It was simply his height, six feet and three inches and his shoe size, an impressive size 14, that he has to thank for catching the eye of Nelson Mandela, who was so impressed by his stature that he offered him the position as one of his bodyguards.

Chris was invited to the College by upper sixth students Abigail Busenze and Poppi Toon and spoke to a packed audience of Peter Symonds students and staff about growing up in South Africa during apartheid. When he was nine years old, Chris wrote letters to world leaders, including Her Majesty the Queen, to help end apartheid. He did not receive any replies, however, when working as Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard he travelled extensively and met lots of famous people including Her Majesty the Queen. She had indeed written a reply to nine year old Chris, which he did not receive, but she gave to him when they met. He also met President Clinton, Beyonce, Jay-Z, played table-tennis with Chris Martin and even sang with Michael Jackson!

His talk about growing up in South Africa, apartheid and working with Nelson Mandela really inspired his audience, with students commenting, “You (Chris) are possibly the most inspirational person I will ever meet in my entire life!”, “Black history is neglected in the British curriculum. To hear something you can relate to – it is refreshing.” “To hear first-hand about the horror of what it was like to grow up during apartheid in South Africa was truly an eye-opener. Makes us realise how lucky we are today.”

Peter Symonds is especially keen to give students, not just an excellent academic education, but well-rounded, informed and cultured guidance too. Students can look forward to more inspiring guests throughout the year.

Posted on 17/11/17 at 15:02

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