Somafco came about through the support of many donor organizations, volunteers and countries. As such, Somafco was also a melting pot of cultural diversity, not only with locals from Tanzania, but nations of across the globe, mostly first world countries.

Somafco was a story of international solidarity and a people determined to make the world a humanized place.

Somafco was a place free of racism and sexism. It was a place of ideas, democracy and determination. It was a happy place for youth and a place of healing for those scarred by apartheid.

It was a place of initiative, collaboration and a vision. A vision of O.R Tambo, Julius Nyerere, Chris Hani, Olaf Palme, Albert Luthuli, Alfred Nzo and many others who didn’t live long enough to see South Africa achieve its democratic breakthrough.

This was the training ground for the democracy that South Africa needed. It was a place of trial and error that many regret and lessons that are yet to be put to full use.

Somafco or Mazimbu was a place where ‘Ama Charlotte’ – a residence where young women who fell pregnant were accommodated for a period of two years to nurture and raise their children. The residence was aptly named after Charlotte Maxeke.

There was also the Charlotte Maxeke crèche –a state of the art early childhood development centre, which boasted an excellent set of diligent care-givers.

Somafco is where the human ideals of many from across the world came to make a contribution to a human rights story and to protect the future.

Somafco was the vision of Africans for African development and it was through sound partnerships with international friends that brought it to reality. It is an institution of the past, present and most importantly, it remains an institution and ideology of the future.

Somafco was a sanctuary to students who survived an imaginable amount of torture. From those students who were actively involved in the 1976 riots, to those who were born in exile. Somafco was also an educational home away from home to some of the students who survived the ghastly Maseru Raid in 1982, Matola massacre and to those whose parents were serving the struggle in other parts of the world.

This institution boasted an array of volunteer teachers who came from countries as far as the then Germany Democratic Republic (now Germany), the Nordic states, England, Bulgaria, Guyana, Ghana, Australia, Austria, Cuba, Tanzania, Holland, to mention but some.

In 1985, the year of the official launch of Somafco, students from various solidarity movements gathered in Somafco for the Masupatsela camp which was approximately a 2 month event involving various cultural exchange activities. This gave youths from the various solidarity and liberation movements the opportunity to meet and engage on their lives and the future. It was one of the most powerful events in the history of the struggle and the role of youth.

Somafco or the community of Mazimbu was a great foundation and proof of what can be achieved through collaboration. This model was replicated or improved upon in neighbouring Dakawa, another settlement for South African exiles in Tanzania. These were phenomenal fetes which are second to none even in modern day society.

Somafco was not about South Africans or the students. It was about the role and journey of quality education and the many attendant values of humanity; thus delivering its consistent promise to liberate.

Education cannot be deemed to be always good. There are forms of education which have caused the world great harm and pain. Bantu Education is case in point.

Somafco was thus the education aimed at the healing and development of ALL of South Africa.