The Myth and Reality of Nelson Mandela

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

This lecture seeks to debate Nelson Mandela's place in public memory. It will deal with several questions about the myths surrounding Mandela. These include, for instance, was Mandela a towering symbol of hope or was he a sell-out? Mandela, the 'reluctant' prince from the Tembu royal family; Mandela, the 'black pimpernel' operating from the ANC underground network before he was arrested, Mandela the 'look alike' of the 'real' Mandela 'who died in Robben Island long ago'- these are aspects the lecture will cover to debate the mythical aspects of Nelson Mandela. The reality of Mandela as a genuine leader of the struggle for freedom in South Africa; a pioneer of South Africa's nation building project based on values of non-racialism, non-sexism and inclusivity, will also be explored.

Kwandiwe Kondlo is currently a Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at University of Johannesburg. He was previously Professor and Director of Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State. He holds an MA from the University of Cape Town, and a D.Litt et Phil (PhD) from the University of Johannesburg. His training is in historical studies with special focus on liberation movements in Southern Africa. 

Presented by Research School of Humanities and the Arts.