Johannesburg – Excitement is mounting in the lead-up to United States First Lady Michelle Obama’s arrival at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg today.
A heavy police presence could be seen outside the museum, with dozens of metro police cars parked at various entry points, and armed members doing the rounds in the vicinity.
A handful of curious onlookers gathered outside the gate in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the first lady.
Some even tried their luck with the security, saying they are here to visit the museum which is closed to the general public.
“We came all the way from Pretoria …we were just trying our luck, but I guess next time,” said one curious citizen, who did not want to be named.
Obama is expected to arrive after 3:30pm, from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, where she toured Mandela’s archives with Graça Machel and some members of the family.
The museum will give Obama, her mother and two daughters a glimpse of what the apartheid regime was like.
Then the family will have a photo shoot with 75 women aged 16 to 30, who are playing leadership roles across the continent. The women are taking part in the two-day meeting of Young African Women Leaders Forum.
Obama is set to deliver a keynote address on Wednesday morning at Regina Mundi Church in Soweto, one of the many churches that became hubs of activity for political gathering during the anti-apartheid struggle.
Obama has a packed schedule that includes a trip to the memorial for Hector Pieterson –who was killed at the age of 12 during the Soweto uprising in 1976.
On Thursday, she leaves for Cape Town where she will visit Robben Island, which was home to hundreds of anti-apartheid fighters such as Mandela and Walter Sisulu.
She will also spend a day with disadvantaged students at the University of Cape Town before meeting with groups that work with HIV and Aids, before meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a key figure, who helped South Africa overcome its past through the TRC.
Obama will then head for Botswana on Friday. The week-long visit is intended to improve relations with African nations and promote youth education, health, and wellness. – BuaNews