Streams

Open Phones: Mandela's Pan-African Impact

Friday, December 06, 2013

We take calls from Africans and African immigrants on what Nelson Mandela meant for the continent as a whole. Call 212-433-9692 or post below.

Four things struck me as why the man is the most admired among Africans. One was Mandela’s deep commitment to the liberation of the African people, a commitment baldly stated in court and underscored by his years on Robben Island.

The second was Mandela’s deep sense of duty and a warm sense of respect for the people he led and the movement to which he had been of selfless service. Contrast that to the arrogance of some of the triumphant nationalist leaders who rewrote history for their own purposes and reduced the movements that had brought them into power into massive voices of sycophancy and intolerance.

The third feature was Mandela’s eminently sane relationship to power. It never got into his head.

The fourth was his commitment to democracy and rule of law.

Mandela was the one individual of and to whom it can be said the African continent was unanimously proud and infinitely grateful.

-- Malawian freedom fighter Thandika Mkandawire on Mandela's impact on all of Africa. Read full post.

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [5]

rose-ellen from jackson heights

How ironic that Americans are lauding Mandela for his willingness to dialogue with his enemy even as Americans consider dialoguing with our enemies; "Muslim terrorists" as they're designated, appeasement and capitulation. Such hypocrisy! Of course Mandela was a terrorist and a murderer who plotted to blow up a hospital. Any Muslim who plots such a thing, gets torture in Guantanamo, imprisonment without trial forever or a drone strike! It's never about our professed believe in the value of innocent human life-it's always political. The words used are always more then about facts. They're about political propaganda and the narrative of whoever is in power. One man's terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. Of course Mandela's' willingness to dialogue with his enemy is being de-emphasized or spun, as is his pro Palestinian,stand. He's being sanitized to conform to America's political narrative.

Dec. 06 2013 02:33 PM

john from office ~

You are small, snide and cynical.

pathetic.

Dec. 06 2013 12:13 PM

As sad as this news is and as much as we will miss Mandela, we also need to celebrate this great man's life and the blessing he was to us all!

We love you Nelson!! You will always be with us!!

Thank you!!

Dec. 06 2013 12:07 PM
john from office

Wow, Brian would be unable to breath if he met Mandela. White liberals are falling all over themselves to honor this man, who was a great leader, but come on Brian!

Next, Brian will Swoon!

Dec. 06 2013 11:53 AM
Nadirah from Elizabeth

Does anyone else find it ironic that Mr. Mandela passed away on the biggest Dutch holiday of the year known as Sinterklaas? If you are not familiar with it, please take a moment to look up its history.

Dec. 06 2013 11:49 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.