1 minute read

Winnie Mandela on the South African exceptionalism embodied by Nelson Mandela

Mandela was extricated from the masses. He was made an idol, almost Jesus Christ! This is nonsense, a lot of nonsense. The freedom of this country was attained by the masses of this country. It was attained by the children who gave their lives in 1976, who faced machine guns with stones and dustbin lids. It was attained by women who were left to fend for their families. They fought the enemy! We are the ones who fought the enemy physically, who went out to face their bullets. The leaders were cushioned behind bars. They don’t know. They never engaged the enemy on the battlefield …

3 minutes read

Nelson Mandela and how we talk about the state in Africa

The first point to recognize is that most states in Africa were formed as a consequence of independence struggles. State power followed long and bitter anti-colonial struggles, with the promise not only of building a nation, but also enabling a public sphere. The consequences of these struggles have had an enduring and lasting effect on the political formation of the state in Africa. The second is that many of these states came into being at the height of the Cold War. And the ideological struggles of the Cold War have had devastating consequences for the shape of African politics.

6 minutes read

File under: #SMH Mandela Moments

Out of courtesy for Nelson Mandela’s memory (and the movement that he represented), we decided to hold any posts of #SMH (that’s Shake My Head) moments (basically occasions when you…..

8 minutes read

To Come Back from Qunu

I do not have a background in the struggle. Unlike the many people who over the past week shared their stories of their personal interactions with Nelson Mandela during the…..

5 minutes read

Nelson Mandela and the Dutch

Shortly after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela embarked on a six week tour across Europe. As the Dutch newspaper NRC mentioned last week, he initially declined the invitation to…..