It is Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday on the 18th of this month. And over here it is like an extended public holiday with no days off. It’s a celebratory month. It’s like Black History Month except it’s more embraced by a greater population than BHM in the States. You probably know that Mandela is a huge figure, celebrated internationally, but it’s difficult to articulate and illuminate his stature within the country to South Africans. It would be as if – this is not a good example – George Washington were still alive or something and you are continually thanking him for leading the country to liberation. It’s not a good analogy though Washing had “high morals” (questionable to some due to slavery). Mandela’s work is probably much bigger, more imaginative because of its nonviolent aspect, its anthrophilic aspect (yes I made the word up but you can use your etymological senses), and its more unifying commitment.
Anyway, there are TV commercials, store sales in his names, school programs, events around town (like choirs singing at the waterfront), etc. He himself has had about 10 days worth of celebrating and big names in
He even had the 6th installment of an annual lectures series—the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture Series. Bill Clinton was the first year’s speaker. Kofi Annan has spoken before and so has Wangari Maathai (2005 Peace Prize winner from
Her presidency is historic because she is the first democratically-elected female president in the history of the continent of
One of the problems is money. As many of you know, it is difficult to get money from the IMF, World Bank, etc. And there was a time in the first year (depicted in the movie) when they had to look at other options because it seemed like the money would not come through. So they welcomed the president of