Nelson Mandela


Friday, October 11th, 2013

Is the Nobel Peace Prize totally irrelevant?

Today, at 11am Norwegian local time, we'll know who's won the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize--an award known for its growing irrelevance. Everyone predicts the winner will be Malala Yousafzai. It's worth going through some of the dodgiest choices made by the Nobel committee in the 93 times they've awarded the prize since 1901.

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Oscar Pistorius to be allowed to visit ailing Mandela–but without his gun

Controversial South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been granted permission to visit former President Nelson Mandela at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg. The former President and global icon (95) has been recovering at home after a long...

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Long Walk to Toronto

It is a warm and breezy Sunday afternoon in Toronto, just the kind of weather that makes us question whether we should be going into a dark movie house to catch one the “hottest” screenings at this year’s international...

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Little Stan Greenberg is Dead

A dear friend and former colleague, Andy Davis, used to giggle at the sight of Stan Greenberg and I rushing through the hallowed halls of Shell House (the ANC’s former headquarters) together and talking numbers and strategy....

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Mandela Day

Some families vacation in Disney World or Cape Cod. Not mine. Our destinations of choice when I was growing up were marches on Washington, picket lines, or protests at City Hall. As a six-year old, I got...

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Nelson Mandela is around like never before

If one believes media reports, Nelson Mandela is no longer with us. Yet, in more ways than one, he is. In the midst of the frenzy of soundbites and images that now circulate through the space left...

Friday, July 5th, 2013

3 Books on Nelson Mandela

The American public radio network, NPR, asked me to recommend 3 books its listeners could read on Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy. Of course I recommended Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself. I also included this small...

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

After Mandela

I returned home to South Africa a few days before Nelson Mandela was readmitted to hospital. This is the fourth and longest period he has been under observation by doctors since last December, and many here are...

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Actual questions from a South African journalist

“Mandela was a terrorist, yet he became an hero and international icon. Do you think the media and the way they portrayed him had something to do with this?… Why would the media choose to see the...

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Freedom Day

Today marks the 19th anniversary of Freedom Day in South Africa. It is an occasion to reflect on the recent and distant past. This is significant because in recent weeks the past has re-emerged as a category...

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

A Very Short History of the Africa Cup of Nations

The big kick-off is nearly upon us. Just 11 months after that extraordinary Zambian triumph in Libreville, starting Saturday we have another month of football ahead as Africa’s top teams (and South Africa, there as hosts) fight...

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Why would the BBC care what FW de Klerk thinks?

Reporting on President Jacob Zuma’s landslide re-election as leader of South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday, the BBC sought the opinion of former apartheid ruler F. W. de Klerk. De Klerk “… told the BBC...

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Waiting for Superman*

South Africa’s Mail & Guardian reported a few days ago that the secretary of Shabir Shaik (the Jacob Zuma associate comvicted of fraud) once testified in court that her boss “has to carry a jar of Vaseline...

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

When Nelson Mandela goes

Yesterday we tweeted my friend Herman Wasserman’s guide to the media on how to cover Nelson Mandela’s hospitalization (it’s good advice if you’re a journalist). This morning I asked Nathan Geffen, a South African media activist (and author) whether...

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Struggles over memory in South Africa

Struggles over memory are commonplace in contemporary South Africa. The 1980s are an especially contested. That decade witnessed a mass resurgence of popular struggles that picked up a thread of civil opposition going back to the 1976...

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Documentary: ‘The Price of Kings’

In an astoundingly ambitious new series of 12 feature-length documentaries titled The Price of Kings (available to watch online) the British production company Spirit Level Films challenge the perception of leadership in provocative and imaginative ways. Through...

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Nelson Mandela (Hollywood; plural)

Rumours are circulating on various Hollywood gossip and film blogs that Stringer Bell also known as Idris Elba — the East London boy made good in Hollywood — is next in line to play Nelson Mandela. Surfing...

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

The meaning of February 11, 1990

Today, 22 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked free from a prison outside Cape Town. Four years later, in April, the ANC won South Africa’s first democratic elections and in May 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s...

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Mandela and the ANC

Nelson Mandela elicits divergent, incorrect and unrealistic reactions among his detractors and supporters.

Friday, September 30th, 2011

This is Freedom: The Mandela reality show

So three of Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren will star in their own reality television show for South African television. The show will go on air in 2012. The main characters will be sisters Swati Dlamini-Manaway (34), and Zaziwe...

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

In Praise of Wangari Maathai

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The Nonviolent Transition in South Africa

The American philosopher Lewis Gordon, in an essay on affirmative action: There are those who praise South Africa for making the transformation to a supposedly post-Apartheid society nonviolently. Without violence? The many blacks (in the Black Consciousness...

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

South Africa’s first democratic president is 93 years old today. The artwork is a collaboration between the two Dutch artists Anton Corbijn and Berend Strik. (Via: ZAM Magazine) * It would be appropriate to click through to...

Monday, July 4th, 2011

‘Who’s the little black fella?’

The life and times of former English Premier League footballer Paul Merson from his new autobiography (his second) that is full of his exploits with drink and gambling: In South Africa we were introduced to this little...

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

‘So that’s what people mean when they talk about freedom’

The trailer for “Otelo Burning,” a new feature film set in Durban, a coming of age story set against the backdrop of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison about a group of young black teenagers, living in a...

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

This Generation of African Women Leaders

Dan Moshenberg has written guest posts for AIAC before and we’ve HT’d him a few times. But this posts marks the first of his weekly posts here on gender politics.  He’ll keep the focus on Africa. Like...

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The Motherland

The documentary film, Blacks Without Borders: Chasing the American Dream on Foreign Soil (2008, directed and produced by Stafford U. Bailey. Co-produced by Judy Thayer-Bailey)–which tells the story of a group of African-American professionals who immigrate to South...

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Manning Marable

On Monday a new book on Malcolm X by the American intellectual and historian Manning Marable will come out. On Friday night Marable passed away. Though Marable, based until his passing at Columbia University, is less well-known...

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Mandela in X-Large

We were hoping it would not come to this: The Nelson Mandela Foundation has launched an “international clothing line.” The 46664 Apparel line, named after Mandela’s inmate number at Robben Island Prison, features colorful clothing that is...

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Google Mandela

You know what Nelson Mandela was trying to calculate in the image embedded above, right? While you figure it out, check out this new Google-paid initiative in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to put “… thousands of...

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