Tag Archives: Mandela

Beyond Trevor Noah and Mandela’s rainbow: Towards a politics of empathy

I’ve been thinking about Trevor Noah’s op-ed in the New York Times, and its angry critiques, since the Day of Reconciliation in South Africa on December 16. Reconciliation is a thorny topic in our moody democracy, a reminder that the road to postcolonial hell is paved with good intentions. If you missed it, Noah argued…

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Self-serving black leaders: why the masses are “forgotten”

By Sebenzile Nkosi Africans have fought long and hard for independence from colonial rule. Leaders of the struggle have been hailed for their self-sacrifice, many of whom have been prepared to pay the ultimate price of death at the hands of their colonisers and allies, for the course. A large part of this struggle, not…

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Stop invoking Mandela’s legacy to advocate respectability

Recently, I saw a Facebook post about an event where the keynote speech was titled “What would Mandela do?” The speech, unsurprisingly, criticised the recent student protests. For the love of intellectual discourse, can we please retire this phrase? Don’t misunderstand me. I have nothing but respect and admiration — and gratitude — for Nelson…

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Hands off the estate tussle between the Mandela children

By Melo Magolego One uneventful day on a busy street in Bophuthatswana there lay, riddled with bullets, the body of my grandfather. My paternal grandfather had two wives and was a migrant labourer. Before retirement, he made his way by delivering those cast iron manhole covers which we use to obscure our sordid secrets. He…

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Nine things white people can do to help transform South Africa

In tribute to Mandela’s vision for a world that is rid of racism, I have created this list of nine things white people can do to assist in the transformation of South Africa. “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must…

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Saying farewell to a legend

It is difficult to come to terms with the news that the world’s most revered statesman and human-rights activist is gone. As is so often said, he now belongs to the ages. Although an old man, he seemed immortal. But Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a man, a man whose dedication to the struggle against apartheid…

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Madiba, this is why I am a public servant

I posted this on my Facebook profile, today. I figured I would share it widely on this worst of days. He held my hand for twenty minutes and told me of the vision he had for our country. No, I said, I was a journalist. It is all I ever wanted to be. I loved…

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The Mandela cult

“Happy is the country that has no history” is a proverb attributed to the French philosopher Montesquieu. In 1994, South Africa — up until then a synonym for backwardness and brutality — was reborn as a democracy. A new epoch dawned. A promised land beckoned. And the man who had come to embody that hope…

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Mandela: Let’s have less spin doctor and more medical doctor

The African National Congress probably couldn’t care less about the chatter that Nelson Mandela is now a medical zombie, alive but not living. It is widely speculated on social networks that the 95-year-old Madiba will remain in intensive care electronic limbo until his passing can be unveiled to the maximum benefit of the ANC in…

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Mandla Mandela and the demise of traditional black culture

By Melo Magolego A little while back in my home township of Ga-Rankuwa, just north of Pretoria, a very peculiar thing happened. A woman who had been living with her parents had, on the passing of her parents, become sole resident of the family house. Due to the vagaries of the economy, the other siblings…

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