20 April 2018

South Africa: Trevor Noah, Mnangagwa Named Among TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People

Photo: allafrica.com
Emmerson Mnangagwa and Trevor Noah.

Cape Town — Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa and South African comedian Trevor Noah have been featured on TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People.

The magazine paired guest contributors to write about each of the 100 people on the list.

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o writes about Noah:

When I think of Trevor Noah, the first image I see is from his brilliant memoir, Born a Crime, of Trevor's mother throwing him out of a moving vehicle while he's asleep in order to save his life. Through other eyes, this could be remembered as traumatic and harrowing. Through Trevor's, it is bonding and hilarious, a testament to the love of someone who truly had to think on their feet.

That is how Trevor sees the world. A fantastic storyteller, he has always been a defier of rules, which he broke simply by being born in his native country. At The Daily Show, which he has truly globalized, Trevor seeks out comedians of color in every possible venue, no matter how small. He is determined to find the best talent representing the most diverse viewpoints.

Trevor, who grew up biracial in apartheid South Africa, has the unique ability to tell truths that bring us together. He is uncannily skilled at holding up a mirror to whatever room he is in. Trevor is always reaching out: across cultures, continents and boundaries. He makes us laugh with each other and brings us that much closer to under­standing one another.

Zimbabwean pastor and democratic activist Evan Mawarire had this to say about Mnangagwa:

The elation that greeted the end of Robert Mugabe's 37-year reign naturally enough transformed into hopes for his successor. And in his first 100 days, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa spoke of re-engaging, forgiveness, democracy and unity.

But though words matter, so does the survival of a system that destroyed the hopes and dreams of generations. For four decades, Zimbabwe's new President was the protégé of the dictator he eventually deposed.

Mnangagwa says very little of his own volition. He waits for you to speak and only responds when absolutely necessary. As Mugabe learned, he is extremely patient, choosing his moments of response or retaliation carefully.

Mugabe described him as a man who does not forgive or forget very easily. Maybe that's why for years, Mnangagwa has kept his liberation war nickname, the Crocodile. The undeniable paradox of Zimbabwe's moment of healing is that the doctor was once the butcher.

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