Monday, November 5, 2007

Nelson Mandela: The new Iceberg Slim

Is Nelson the new Iceberg Slim?

Am I the only human alive who thinks Nelson Mandela has not done any good since his departure from prison in February 1990? Why do I fail to see him as our Father-of-Africa our savior? I grew up thinking that this man was a great leader, on a par with Martin and Malcolm. The sacrifices he made with his life, to go to prison for crimes he had not done, based on a simple principle of right and wrong. I knew about him, before I had even seen what he looked like and believed him to be the modern day Jesus for not only blacks in South African, but world wide. "You watch when Nelson is released, tings will change" was a mantra you could hear up and down dance halls over the country. However over time, investigating this 'magical mystery' man, I came to the conclusion that he is no more than a pimp and what Malcolm would deem a sell-out. Not even on a par with snoop dogg. Let me step back and let the lyrics flow.

As we all know Mandela was sentenced to 27 years for attempting to overthrow the South African government after the government had implemented a set of racist rules and living conditions known as Apartheid. Mandela spoke out, after countless township blacks were murdered and kidnapped, and while being on the run for 2 years, was eventually captured, imprisoned and subsequently charged with a variety of trumped up charges, including conspiracy to overthrow the government. You have to understand that throughout Africa at this time, leaders were rising to remove the shackles and chains of colon ism. Prominent leaders such as Patrice Lumumba, Njomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah and President Kenneth Kaunda, were all attempting to bring an awareness to Africa's plight and country by country gained their independence through a variety of what we would deem arms-house tactics, in order to be free.

Nelson was to remain incarcerated on Robin Island until 1989, when a well-known tribesman, by the name of Buthelezi, decided he was going to turn Johannesburg into a modern day Zulu battle ground, unless his black people were given freedom, respect and an end to the racist Apartheid laws. It was Buthelezi's followers who ruthlessly burned ANC and Government supporters with tyre's around their necks, while western governments condemned a hungry people as savage. Does this sound familiar? The SA government had no other choice but to release Mandela, especially as there was a band-aid song about to go to number one in the pop charts and they needed Nelson for the video. As well as worldwide condemnation from the global leaders, it was all they could do to prevent a civil war on their hands, thereby destabilizing the economic growth and plunging the country further into debt. All this time while Nelson was in prison, Winnie Mandela was taking care of business. With Nelson otherwise incarcerated, Winnie had the children to feed, clothe and bring up, without a father. It was Winnie who kept the Mandela name in the public eye, while he was away. Regardless of the number of times they tried to silence and embarrass her, she portrayed all that is great about black women. Strong-willed, courageous and tenacious. In the face of systematic personal onslaught's, some of them bordering renk level, she fought back and re-established the hope for a nation. No sooner did Nelson see brasserie and frock were we witnessed to his scam marriage at 72, to some floozy we never heard of. Where was Winnie? What could have gone on so quick after he came out, for him to abandon the women who stood by his side and kept the Mandela name flying for close on fifty years? And Kobe Bryant has one little sho-sho, it get splash all across the news and he can't get on Oprah, but Nelson, it's-been-a-long-time Mandela, can come out and play "mack daddy" like Hugh Heffner on Christmas eve.

It was at this point I started to look at this man again. How could you do such a thing and so blatant and callous? These were my first signs into his derangement, the halo had been lifted. I realized the game Nelson was playing or rather being forced into. You see one of the main conditions upon his release was to put an end to the desire for betterment for blacks in South Africa. That dream where blacks in S.A. would operate on an equal playing field, was just that; Martin Luther King, 'Dream Talk'. As you can imagine, when the hunger less people on the streets got word, that Nelson was a sell-out and their hopes of working in a bank rather than cleaning in one, were not to be forth-coming, Nelson was ill-advised by Government officials to
keep it on the down-low, while the situation on the streets calmed down. Could you imagine Malcolm listening to such nonsense?

At this point the ANC required huge funds to launch a much needed awareness campaign and programs designed to give people jobs and food. Basically to keep hope alive. The ANC had no funds, as they had previously been classed illegal. So Nelson in his wisdom decided to embark on a whistle-stop tour of the US to help fund the never-ending demands for schools, houses, churches and coach out-ting to the seaside, who's requests were now arrived at ANC doors, in the thousands. Mandela went to America where he met the other Nelson (Rockefeller) who in no uncertain terms made it clear to Mandela he was to leave all his grandiosity ideas back from the prison he once came, unless he liked the taste of stale porridge and 1000 sit-ups on a daily basis. When this is spoken to you by the man who controls the world, it comes not as an ideal threat more like, "When do I start"? Upon his return, flushed with millions of dollars, Nelson went into overdrive, setting up this organization and that, which amounted to nothing more than a Jerry Springer sideshow, only to venture in public when South Africa played cricket or rugby. By 1994, South Africa had returned to International sports and Nelson was asked to share power with the same people who put him in prison. A bit like the Gerrad Houllier - Roy Evans debacle we had at Liverpool a few years back. People wondering 'who's in charge' ? Astonishment led to outright condemnation of the actions of a 76 year old man. People began to wonder whether all the time spent in prison, had sent him senile, but the odd occasions when CNN rolled him out in front of the waiting press dismissed this notion and the colours of his shirts made people think about something else instead of wondering how he could share power with the same people who put him in prison?

Before we knew where we were, Nelson was deemed a world statesmen, Winnie was gone and the people on the streets of South Africa, were still begging for jobs, food and housing and saspirilla, seventeen years after Nelson's release. All the while Mandela rests his old bones in a mansion by the coast of South Africa Cape Cod, talking about how time will heal and in time due things will come. Well it's OK for you to talk about time and soon come, with your mirrors on your bedroom ceiling and your fancy Whitney Houston pillow cases but spare a thought for those little African children on the streets of Johannesburg and Cape Town, who trusted and believed in you, to deliver more than sound bites and grin teeth. They see how you hook up with girl quicker than Mike Tyson and Hugh Grant, while they wrestle with an epidemic of aids and HIV. They expected light and a path to follow, instead you gave them lies and led them into the abyss. They lived in hope, while scavenging for bits of stale bread while you live in splendor, with enough maids and butlers to make Donald Trump take stock. And you have the nerve to come talk about being a church man and peace. Like Malcolm said, sometimes you enemy is closer to home than you think...

I thought you to be a field Nigger, Mr Mandela, guess I was wrong.


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