Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Mandela’

Asimbonanga

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

when my dad texted me Nelson Mandela was dead the first thing that went through my head was Johnny Clegg and Savuka’s song “Asimbonanga”

(“We haven’t seen him” — 1987)

which called for Mandela’s release from prison

***

Oh the sea is cold and the sky is grey
Look across the island into the bay
We are all islands till comes the day
We cross the burning water

 ***

(Mandela joins Clegg on stage at about the 2:40 mark. And then speaks a little. And dances.)

. . . what Egypt needs is a Nelson Mandela . . .

Monday, August 19th, 2013

mandela with dove

 

***

I want, genuinely, to be hopeful and optimistic about the future of Egypt even though I am, sadly, an inveterate pessimist and doomsayer—but in order to instill a kind of complicated hope in me I am going to begin this post by talking a bit about South Africa, the country in which I was born some 45 distant years ago (I moved to Dallas, TX with my family in 1980).

South Africa is a great success story. A miracle. A miracle that she was able to emerge from Apartheid with, at the end, such a minimal amount of bloodshed and economic damage (so many, within and without, had predicted total calamity: a bloodbath accompanied by economic ruin). (more…)