THE STAIN ON MANDELA

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Having waited for the hullabaloo of the death of Dr. Nelson Mandela to die down, one can
easily sit back now to take a more objective look at the man the people of South
Africa,and indeed, the world loves to call, MADIBA. Truly, a man many admired and even revered; indeed, in the praise tongue of African languages, he could be referred to as ‘a man of timber and calibre’. The man was a unique person who towered above other men, even his I have read a lot of articles, commentaries, orations, poetry, and all kinds of prose about the man; I have been privileged to read (in parts) his auto-biography, A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, and have watched several historical documentaries about the man. Indeed, he was a great man, a giant tree in the midst of ‘shrubs’ of men. Yet, Mandela was not as honourable as portrayed; not as honest as presented; not as angelic as seemed; and definitely not as exemplary as he was set up for the world to see. Here was a man who fell into immorality and entered into an adulterous relationship and had to be separated from his first wife, among other things. Two Yoruba proverbs can be examined here: 1. the cane used in beating up the elder wife is kept on the ceiling for use on the junior wife. 2. A killer can never agree to have anyone pass over his head, a sword. So, after twenty-seven years in prison, on his return, Mandela could not stand the knowledge of his dear wife, Winnie, fallen into adultery. Even though he was not around for all those years! In spite of all that the poor woman did to hold his home together, caring for his children and even carrying on his political activity. He could not find it in any corner of his heart to forgive the woman who gave up her own life, to maintain his! A woman he cheated on his first wife to go out with, in the first place. What hypocrisy! It was not a moral issue for him to pick on Graca Machel, a former wife of one of his old compatriots! Could it be he had had his eyes on her while the woman was still married to her husband, all those years of struggle? Alright, we do not need to go into any details here; but the truth remains that MANDELA ERRED big time, in his dealings with his women. Granted, he himself repeated many times that he was no saint, and he had his flaws, several in fact, but the world was too much in dire need of a messiah to notice the big stain on MANDELA’s person.

 

About author

Kemi Wale-Olaitan

Kemi is a retired broadcaster from the service of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; while in service, she had her interest in women issues and had interviews with several notable women in the course of her duty as a producer in the service of the Federal government. Her interest in broadcasting was informed by her creative writing prowess; she has been very active in creative writing since her undergraduate days, and she has written a few fictional works in form of short stories and novel. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies of Short stories. Kemi was also very active in the establishment of the Women Writers Association of Nigeria (WRITA) and she served on its first Executive Council.

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