Nelson Mandela’s Former Bodyguard Talks to DLD College London

By School House

3 years ago

Internationally acclaimed keynote speaker and Nelson Mandela’s former bodyguard, Chris Lubbe, virtually delivered an inspirational talk to DLD College London students, 31 years to the day after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison on Robben Island.

Introduced by DLD’s Inclusion and Diversity Lead and Head of BTEC, Fumi St Marthe, the activist and highly-inspirational speaker encouraged the entire student cohort that success is possible regardless of race, gender or disability. Chris shared an insight into growing up in apartheid South Africa, experiencing the inequality, injustice and violence that the policy of segregation held for black and multiracial people. He then spoke of his work as a political organiser and the cost of that work at the hands of the government and the police, and the difficult journey of change, recognition and forgiveness that started once the policy was dismantled.

The engaging talk was followed up by an insightful question and answer session that left all students with the reminder that it is in the hands of all to create a world without racism. The event concluded with thanks from the students, delivered on their behalf by Student Council Diversity and Inclusion Lead Benita, and thanks from the Principal.

DLD College London Principal Irfan Latif commented on the event, “It was a huge honour to welcome back a special friend of the school, Chris Lubbe, albeit virtually. He spoke eloquently and with passion about his time with Mr Mandela and the apartheid regime in South Africa. His extraordinary story struck a chord with all of us and allowed us to reflect on how privileged we are to access a good education. It was shocking and challenging at times, but ultimately an inspirational one.

“It was a deeply thought-provoking speech from an inspirational man who has, as he put it, ‘DLD in his DNA’.”

DLD College London is the only independent school in the heart of London with on-site boarding and is housed in highly contemporary, purpose-built premises on 199 Westminster Bridge Road, overlooking the Palace of Westminster and the River Thames. The school was recently announced as winners of the Independent Schools of the Year, Special Judges’ Award and Independent Boarding School of the Year. 

The school offers students aged 14 to 19 the opportunity to study a wide range of GCSEs, A-Levels, BTEC courses and International Foundation Programmes (IFP). It also offers an Academic Preparation Programme (APC).

As part of the Alpha Plus Group, DLD College London provides a ‘gold standard’ of educational quality. Classes are small, enabling students and teachers to focus upon the most effective ways of learning and to provide them with the highest levels of pastoral care both in school and in boarding. The school’s beating heart is its award-winning wellbeing centre.

To find out more about DLD College London go to