Mr. Mandela is dead. I have visited Africa 9 times, and suspect my knowledge of Africa is way better than average, yet Nelson Mandela is a tough story.
First of all, the geography lesson, Africa has 53 countries, and is really a couple times bigger than America, and probably four times bigger than Europe.
(Please keep your eyes wide open - South Africa is in the top 5 most dangerous countries on the planet, it is broken.)
So, what do I know about Africa, first and foremost, when I talk about this continent, best to not talk about it as,
It is too big to be lumped together as one place, and as I, as Indiana farm boy really does not want to be called a “New Yorker,” I really want nothing to do with the East Coast of the USA. Then, think of this, to sit around in some arrogant whoopee, and talk about Africa lacks in humility, this places is way too big to understand.
My comment on Nelson Mandela is this; he seems like a guy that caused trouble in the right direction of life. As best I can understand, he was with a group of rather fortunate men from Africa, who partied, drank, and traveled the planet, came from monied families, who sent their kids to University. He was divorced twice, and married three times, he was not a good guy that was a saint, far from that, and he was a trouble maker, nothing like the normal people of Africa. He was lucky in life, not unlike President Obama, never forget, Obama went to Harvard, do not feel sorry for the guy.
And at the time when Mandela and the boys were making the most trouble, they were called terrorist. Much as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were terrorist in the minds of England, Nelson Mandela was a terrorist who really did change the world for the better.
Unlike Che Guevara who was a nothing, Nelson Mandela was a something.
On the day of your death, Mr. Nelson Mandela, I wish to say thank you for causing trouble in the right way. But, I am not going to make this man a saint, or a martyr.
The challenge of Africa is to keep our eyes full wide open.