For all those leeching off Mandela’s legacy, politicians, activists, pacifists and everyone else, it is only right that his legacy is seen for what it is, every single aspect of it, not just selective veneration.
David Cameron who in the 80’s was intrinsically a lead part of organisations that sided with Apartheid and produced ‘hang Mandela‘ posters, will of course now be shedding crocodile tears at his death, so will a lot of others who would selectively eulogise him to help achieve their perfidious ends.
In terms of ideas at least, in the modern sense of the terms, Mandela was hardly the ‘moderate’ and was always the ‘radical’, terms which Western governments and their media partners so callously employ to distinguish those who submit to their whims and those who do not.
Mandela needs to be venerated, that is beyond doubt, but that veneration should be for what he was, the causes he espoused and the people he sided with, not for what anyone would like him to have been.
Image from here.
One of my all time favourite songs and amongst the best written national anthems in the world, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, written in Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English, was the great emblem of defiance against the Apartheid regime and eventually united all peoples of South Africa within the ambit of her melody. No better time to post this than now, when Nelson Mandela, a giant of our times and a great advocate of the struggle of the Palestinian people has died.
“God bless Africa
Let its (Africa’s) horn be raised,
Listen also to our prayers,
Lord bless us, we are the family of it (Africa).
Lord bless our nation,
Stop wars and sufferings,
Save it, save our nation,
The nation of South Africa — South Africa.
From the blue of our heavens,
From the depths of our seas,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the cliffs give answer,
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.” (video)
Image from here.
The National Gallery, London.
Photo of the National Gallery taken from Trafalgar Square.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Also, the last Kodachrome was processed today – well technically yesterday – 30th December 2010. No more film roll developing hereafter, digital photos are here to rule. Read more here.