Academy award winner, Forest Whitaker is in South Africa on a “goodwill tour’ which kicked off on 19 April. The 45-year-old film star, who was honoured with the Oscar for “Best Actor’ at the 79th annual Academy Award in February, will spend two weeks touring the country as the guest of South African Tourism and South African Airways. He will join in the nationwide celebration of Freedom Day, a national holiday commemorating South Africa’s first post-apartheid, democratic elections in 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected President.
On Monday 23 April he will visit Robben Island with Ahmed Kathrada. Whitaker will also be welcomed by dignitaries in KwaZulu-Natal.
“I’m really looking forward to coming to South Africa with my family, meeting the wonderful people and seeing all of its beauty,’ said Whitaker. “South Africa is a place that we’ve been looking forward to visiting as a family for quite some time and I know that we will have memories of this journey forever.”
“We are honoured to welcome one of America’s best actors to celebrate Freedom Day in South Africa,’ said Dr. Felicia Suttle, President of South African Tourism, USA. “This is a time for South Africans to celebrate their spirit of humanity, the spirit of reconciliation that the world continues to admire in our people after years of oppressive apartheid rule. Forest Whitaker will experience the beauty of our country, the warmth of our people and immerse himself in the diversity of our cultures.’
Whitaker departed the United States on 18 April for an overnight flight on South African Airways to Johannesburg. From there he embarks on a two-week tour of some of South Africa’s most celebrated sites, with scheduled stops in Durban and Cape Town, among other destinations. The Whitakers will be meeting locals, enjoying the wide range of South African cuisine and witnessing some of the country’s most spectacular natural sights. They will return to the US on 30 April.