Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Colgate Nangu

Hi Deween,
   So good to hear from you and discover that you are one of the 4 people reading this blog.  I enjoyed hearing about your daughters and their volunteer work in Africa.  Thanks for suggesting Desmond Tutu’s No Future Without Forgiveness.   I’ve read 7 books in the past seven weeks and need to find a lending library before I spend all my money on paper backs.   Today I struck up a conversation with Colgate Nangu after having a Thi massage.  He graduated from an area college in 1976 at the height of student unrest and was one of the student  leaders that helped end apartheid.   He taught high school for five years, got a degree in sociology and then went to work with Nelson Mendela and other black leaders after they were released from prison on Robben Island.  Colgate is currently New Market Development Manager for an African fertilizer company.
    He noticed my accent and wondered where I came from and what I was doing in Africa.  I told him that I’m from Utah, a state in the U.S. He had never heard of the place. I said, “It’s inland from California.”  I explained that I am an LDS missionary on assigned to promote higher education.  He proceeded to tell me that all the schools for blacks here in the Eastern Cape were originally established by white missionaries.  In his day, black students came here from all over Africa to get the education denied them by white leaders in their own countries. He said that white missionaries brought love, light and learning and learning to Africa.
   I told him about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He thought we were like all the other Christian denominations. (There is a different church on every corner here in P.E.)  I said “We are not like the others.  We believe in the bible but have other sacred scriptures.  We have prophets and the same organization that existed in the church Christ established when he was on earth.  Because of the Book of Mormon, we are often called  “Mormons.”  I asked if had ever heard the term Mormon?  He said “No.”  I pointed out that Mitt Romney, who is currently running for President in the U.S., is a Mormon.   Tom arrived, joined our conversation and took down Colgate's contact information.  He lives in Johannesburg but has family here in P.E. and so comes here often. He was accompanied by a young female who he said was a friend of the family, who works in banking.  Colgate Nangu is one of the most influential, well connected blacks we have met so far.  We exchanged e-mail addresses and he will meet with the missionaries in Jberg.   Love and Blessings, Sister S.

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