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African Stones - Hope

After a rough trip across the Indian Ocean, we finally safely reached Richards Bay, South Africa on the 4th of November 2001. The search for stones brought us to Pretoria. There, the German Embassy gave us the right contact, who led us through the Department of Minerals and Energy to Kelgran Granite. I met the Managing Director, Mr. Rob Brown, in Johannesburg. I presented him with the objectives of my project, and he felt very motivated to help. He showed great interest and sympathy. In the showroom, he let me select from South Africa’s wide range of granite varieties. Moreover, he gave us an invitation to visit the quarry of my choice. A few days later his driver fetched us from the hotel to bring us to the quarry at Bertanie near Brits. The manager, Pat O´Brian, with a fine sense of art and humour, showed us around the extensive quarry. He left us with the man in charge with the comment, "Just choose whichever boulder you like."

A couple of hours later I had made my selection. I had set my eyes on a large piece of marvelous black granite, big enough to split into two pieces. Mr. O'Brien donated the stone and invited us to stay at the quarry. He provided us with all the equipment needed to shape, sculpt and polish the stones. After only nine weeks, working under the best of conditions I had encountered so far, stones number five and six were ready for transport. We encountered the great generosity of South African people, whom we met as strangers and left as friends.

We took the bus to Richards Bay, where we found Pegasus waiting for us, to carry us by sail the last thousand miles to Cape Town. Fighting a storm blowing against the strong Agulhas current made this particular leg the toughest part of the circumnavigation thus far. At the end of February 2002 we arrived in Cape Town and tied up at the Royal Cape Yacht Club. 

Finding a strong sponsor for transport, like MACS Shipping Company and Kühne+Nagel was a very promising start. At that time, we were working with the local authorities in Cape Town to find the very best place for the stone of Hope. Five months on, it looked like placing this stone had become a real challenge.

Hope in Berlin!

On Monday 03 12 2007, the Peace Nobel Prize Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu – the master of reconciliation, helped me to place a black ganite block of 20 tons in the Tiergarten in presence of press and television. The stone with the name "hope" represents the African continent. It is the fourth from a total of five stones from five continents.

After greeting the guests, I gave a sort introduction to the monument for future, then it was the Mayor of Berlin Mr. Harald Wolf to deliver his speech. Despite the heavy rain Desmond Tutu held an inspiring speech in best mood which he finished with a prayer. The district mayor Dr. Hanke was next, followed by the Superintendent Lothar Wittkopf which lectured on Hope from Christian perspective.

Accompanied by a guitarist, the soulsinger Ms. Jocelyn Smith sang with passion a song she has dedicated to Desmond Tutu. She first sang this song a year ago for Desmond Tutu’s birthday in presence of Kofi Annan and bishop Huber in the “Traenen Palast”, Berlin.

Due to the heavy rain, unfortunately the stone got stuck 50 meters from its destination, but was finally placed successfully with some delay.  One stepp closer to complete the project, I would like to thank deep out of my heart all the people wo have helped me to place the symbol of hope for us and especially for the people who live on the shady side of the world.


Wolfgang Kraker v. Schwarzenfeld