Durban, Sep 7 — Visiting Phoenix Settlement, the first “ashram” established by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa in 1904, was an emotional moment for legendary actress Waheeda Rehman, who had never thought that she will get to see the place.
The Phoenix Settlement is situated on the north-western edge of Inanda, over 20 km from Durban.
The “Guide” fame actress, who has travelled the world, is on her maiden visit to South Africa and she was determined to see the first ashram of Mahatma Gandhi.
“This is my first visit to South Africa,” the 77-year-old actress, looking as graceful as ever in a salwar-kameez, told IANS Friday while visiting the Gandhi memorial here.
“I’m feeling happy and emotional. I never thought I would come here and see the place (Phoenix Settlement). They (the organisers) asked me, ‘Do you really want to go because in the evening there’s a show?’ And I said the show is in the evening. And when will I get the opportunity to come and visit the place, so I am here,” she added.
The prolific actress, known for her work in films like “Bees Sal Baad”, “Neel Kamal” and “Khamoshi”, was here to attend the first edition of the South Africa India Film and Television Awards (SAIFTA).
SAIFTA is being organised with a focus on enhancing exchange of cultural elements of the Indian and South African entertainment industry.
The actress is on the judging panel of the awards.
On Durban city, she said: “They have two beautiful things – the people are beautiful and so is the city.”
(Arpana can be contacted at [email protected])