Fareed’s take on Nelson Mandela

This weekend on the Global Public Square (CNN) we could follow a very interesting discussion about Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy with  Peter Godwin, a former human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe, foreign correspondent at BBC, and author of the book Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa (2008), which features a forward written by Nelson Mandela, Peter Beinart, an associate professor of journalism at the City University of New York and a senior political writer at Newsweek Daily Beast, and Khehla Shubane, a political prisoner at Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela, who also became the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Fareed Zakaria remebers Nelson Mandela when Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 that he spoke with the language, cadence and manner of figures from the 1940s and 1950s. For him, as for me, he reminded us of the moving pictures we had seen of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru and the other great national leaders from the post-colonial who had lead their countries to freedom.

He had the same formal way of speaking and dressing, the same dignity of bearing, the same sense of history.  And Mandela really was a throwback to an older time of great leaders, who through courage and sheer willpower, changed the course of history.

Twenty-seven years in prison had kept intact his manners, but also his morals.  His most important act, of course, was forgiveness, but he didn’t just talk about reconciliation, he took painful actions to make it real.

What is most important for us to remember this man is his attitude to his oppressor. Instead of vengeance, Mandela sought truth and reconciliation.  He never claimed to be a a saint and did not want to be worshipped. He was a man of his time who took the courage to make right decisions, not always wanting to have his say nor his way. He was willing to listen and to discuss. Being a political genius, for him not his personal “I” was to get in the picture, but for him it was most important that he could saved his country, which should become a “Rainbow country” where many differently coloured people could live together in peace.

Mandela knew what was in his country’s best interest.  He steered it in a pro-Western, pro-democratic, pro-market direction.  And, yet, he kept faith with his old comrades, honouring them, never forgetting their support when he and his movement were in the wilderness.

His final act of greatness was leaving office.  Very few black, African leaders had ever left office voluntarily in 1999 when Nelson Mandela did, after just one term.

He wanted to make sure that South African democracy did not descend into a cult of personality or dynasty.  He was, in this sense, South Africa’sGeorge Washington.

As much as one man can shape a country’s future, Nelson Mandela did it for South Africa.  And, in doing so, he also shaped the conscious of the entire world.


Please do find the transcript and video of the interesting CNN broadcasting: Nelson Mandela’s Life and Legacy on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS

Preceding post: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba passed away

Find also: Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela



On his 80th birthday, July 18, 1998, Mandela married Graca Machel, the widow of former Mozambican President Samora Machel.

  • Some nice pictures can be seen at R.I.P.: Nelson Mandela (marciokenobi.wordpress.com)
  • mandela-10

    After more than 27 years in detention, Mandela walks out of the Victor-Verster Prison in Paarl on Feb. 11, 1990, accompanied by his wife Winnie.

  • “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela (priscillaajacks.wordpress.com)
    There is something special about this quote. I know that not everything in life is possible. However, with determination, desire, and many other such traits people can achieve what was once thought of as impossible.
  • Nelson Mandela has passed away peacefully at the age of 95. (asterisk15.wordpress.com)
    Nelson Mandela, in my eyes was someone who I could look up to. He fought for our human rights, and the apartheid that happened around 1990-1994 is truly an event we’ll never forget.He fought for equality, love and to make sure everyone gets a fair choice. He inspired me, as he got to the top, and fought for everyone.
  • Art: Amazing Tribute To Nelson Mandela (davidmixner.com)
    A stunning steel sculpture has been created in honor of Nelson Madela. Up close it appears there are only fifty rods of steel. They symbolize the time he spent behind prison bars. That alone would be powerful but the further you move away from the massive piece of art a surprise develops.
  • Should Catholics Praise Nelson Mandela? (catholictruthblog.com)
    Nelson Mandela’s death on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, at age 95, triggered a tsunami of praise and accolades across the world — from politicians, the media, Hollywood, and even the Pope.In a telegram to South African President Jacob Zuma, Pope Francis paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, praising Mandela for his “steadfast commitment … in promoting the human dignity of all the nation’s citizens and in forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth”.
  • Nelson Mandela to get a plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
    As David Waldstein’s story in the New York Times notes, Mandela will not be the first non-baseball figure to be honored in Monument Park. There are already plaques for masses celebrated in Yankee Stadium by  Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. There is also a monument in honor of victims of the September 11th attacks.
  • The Nelson Mandela Foundation: preserving a legacy (blogs.abc.net.au)
    The late President Mandela lived a life of many distinct chapters – from tribal royalty, to promising student, to activist and revolutionary, to prisoner and then freedom, before becoming President and an international statesman.The Nelson Mandela Foundation was set up with the task of preserving his legacy, both in terms of the significant archive he accumulated over the course of his life, and continuing to work towards the ideals for which he sacrificed so much. It does this through the International Nelson Mandela Day, by encouraging dialogue between hostile partners, and through the Centre of Memory that Mandela set up.
  • Kanye West Didn’t Say He Was The Next Nelson Mandela (hiphopwired.com)
    Thanks to the audacity he has displayed in prior interviews and the outrageous quotes they tend to generate, some people will believe anything they’re told Kanye West said. That happened late last week when a fake Yeezy interview where the rapper said he was the next Nelson Mandela fooled many.
  • Westboro Baptists ‘booking flights’ to protest Mandela’s funeral (theobamacrat.com)
    In a series of deliberately-provocative Twitter posts, the church says it is buying plane tickets to South Africa and is hoping to coordinate with South African police while they stage a protest at the funeral, citing Mandela’s divorce and remarriage as evidence of damnation. Showing them to be the scum the are!  https://twitter.com/WBCSays Check their tweets, they almost make me want to kill one of them, and I am being serious here. Scotland, now South Africa! These sub-humans are turning the planet against them slowly
  • US religious fundamentalists, Dutch nazis against Nelson Mandela
    a minority of the tears now is not so sincere. Like in the case of
    British Conservatives who used to call Nelson Mandela a “terrorist”, and to call for him to be hanged, while he was alive. Or in the case of the Spanish conservative ruling party, which used to prefer dictator Franco to Mandela while Mandela was alive, but who now shed crocodile tears as well.On the extreme Right side of the political spectrum, some show their anti-Mandela bigotry even now.
  • Nelson Mandelas Legacy (deancollins419.wordpress.com)
  • Politicians who opposed Nelson Mandela and supported Apartheid (rollingout.com)
    In 1993, Nelson Mandela’s father, who was known to be a chief, served as a counselor to tribal chiefs for a lot years. he was a famous African.
  • Spanish conservatives, Nelson Mandela and Franco (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
    Amidst the general global outpouring of grief last week at the passing of Nelson Mandela, Spain’s ruling Popular Party lamented the loss of Mandela on its Twitter account.
  • World Jewish Congress reaction to death of Nelson Mandela (fidest.wordpress.com)
    The president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has called Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and campaigner against the apartheid regime who passed away Thursday at the age of 94, “unquestionably the most inspiring human rights advocate of our times”. Ronald S. Lauder declared: “Nelson Mandela was one of those very rare leaders who were revered not just by their own people but universally, across all political and communal divides. As a builder of bridges, he was second to none, and with his huge charisma, wisdom, democratic convictions and tremendous determination he ensured that the transition of his country from an apartheid state into a free and democratic nation was successful.”Lauder added: “Whilst he will be greatly missed, Nelson Mandela will continue to serve as an inspiration for countless people around the word, including many Jews. He will always be remembered as one of the world’s foremost political leaders of the past century, not least because he managed to bring together the various ethnic and religious communities of his home country. South Africans have every reason to be proud of this great son their country.”
  • Who’s who of world leaders descends on South Africa (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
    The government warned that police would turn away people from Tuesday’s event when the stadium filled up, and advised South Africans who don’t live in Gauteng province to honor Mandela closer to home.  Some 90 big screens were being set up throughout the country.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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