Mahatma Mandela…Three Tributes

It seems only appropriate to address Mandela as Mahatma, or ‘Great Soul’ a tribute heretofore reserved for Mahatma Gandhi. Here are 3 rare tributes to him…

The poem below is by the great Caribbean poet Kamau Brathwaite…he sent it by email, subject line: Oriki for Mandela, and asked that it be circulated. “Less we feget and b4 we feget as w/so many others. . . Pl pass it on as if it was a mural <<Kamau>>” NB: The photo was included with the poem.Screen Shot 2013-12-25 at 10.56.48 AM

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One of the most interesting articles on Nelson Mandela is written by my friend Achal Prabhala, who restores some flesh and blood to what is otherwise rapidly developing into a cardboard cutout of the global hero:

Prison did not diminish Mandela’s keen interest in the body. When his daughter Zindzi expressed hesitation at attending her sister Zenani’s wedding—Zenani was marrying a Swazi prince, and Zindzi was worried she would have to go bare-breasted to the ceremony—Mandela wrote her a charming note of encouragement.
“The beauty of a woman lies as much in her face as in her body. Your breasts should be as hard as apples and as dangerous as cannon balls. You can proudly and honourably display them when occasion demands.”
For more go here.
Finally, this relatively little known 1984 essay on Mandela by French theorist Jacques Derrida is a must read too. The Laws of Reflection: Nelson Mandela, in Admiration:
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For more go here.
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