5 July 2013

South Africa: Exclusive Interview With Nelson Mandela

Abidjan — Ivorian blogger Fleure N'Doua shares one of her X'clusiv interviews, fictional but no less heartfelt talks in which she discusses big issues with big names.

I have been deeply anguished by the news of Nelson Mandela's critical condition. So, before his health deteriorates even further, I decided to publish this interview, which I conducted a little while ago. It comes out of an Africa in reflection. The continent has been feeling spiritual, immersed in prayers for Mandela's wellbeing to the extent of almost forgetting Barack Obama's anticipated visit to Senegal. (But that's another story.)

Good morning, Tata Madiba. How do you feel?

Much better, but I am still very tired. It must be old age.

But Tata Madiba, are you really 94? That's an awfully long time!

All I know is that it is what my legal documents say. But I wouldn't bet on it if I were you. In Africa everything is relative [laughing].

You had a full life: leader of the struggle against apartheid, South African President, Nobel Peace Prize winner...

[Interrupting me...] My daughter, do you think that 27 years in prison can fill a life?! I would say my life was half full. I wish I had a different life with more freedom... oh well!

Have you ever had any regrets about the struggle?

Partly. I am happy to see young generations benefiting from the struggle, but at the same time, I am shocked by the way people waste the fruits of our efforts: South Africans looking down on fellow Africans simply because they are foreigners; heads of states squandering wealth in lavish parties while the people goes hungry; soldiers fighting for political power. Ha Africa! It breaks my heart. But I'm too old for protest rallies.

Your family is already fighting over inheritance, while you are still alive. How does that make you feel?

Well, I have a surprise in store for all of them. [Whispering... ] I bequeathed all my wealth to charity organizations. But please only publish this when you sense it's the end.

Thank you, Madiba, your secret is safe with us.

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