You are in the beginning of your 30s. And you're peacefully protesting against racism. Black Lives Matter.
But then at one point, you see yourself confronted with the fact that you can only change your suppressor by violence.
Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe the United States where there's a lot of Black Lives Matter movement going on right now. Protests, violence.
Well, this is a Chapter This is the story of Nelson Mandela.
Hello, and welcome to 50 books each year, the podcast show where we read 50 books each year, so you don't have to. This is your host mine dirt burger. Yes, and we are off with chapter number seven. And we are reviewing the book Nelson Mandela dare not linger and this book could have
Be more relevant these days because as I mentioned already, the Black Lives movement in the United States of America and other parts of the world is very 2020. And Nelson Mandela faced a lot of the same issues in South Africa when he was growing up. Nelson Mandela was born in 1918, into a temple royal family, and Nelson Mandela learned how it was to have black leadership in this royal family. Now, for those of you who don't know, South Africa, as a lot of different tribes, and a lot of different royal families, and Nelson Mandela was born into one. And this inspired him to become one of the first if not the first black lawyer in South Africa.
This is the way and this is the inspiration for the future of his life, because he has been confronted with so much racism during his time, not only as a person, not only
being the only black guy in his school, but also the rest of the country he sees because due to his family, he has the opportunity to see the rest of the country and he's confronted with a lot of racism. And he is dedicating his life to fight racism. And he is doing that as a lawyer Deus by peacefully protesting, by networking, by writing manifests and to make or appeal to people in a peaceful way, by pen and by the word of mouth. Now, this is Nelson Mandela in his early 30s. Unfortunately, in his time in the 1950s, after a protest, he is confronted with the epiphany that peaceful protests will not change anything in South Africa in the 1950s. South Africa is
So racist, that the word apartheid becomes world famous. And a lot of people lose their lives due to the suppressing government.
And the suppressing government is not doing anything to stop it. And they are only doing things to stay in power.
And in the 1950s, Nelson Mandela has the Epiphany to
do something about it in a violent way.
Now, to be clear, as a side note, I don't condone violence, violence is not a thing that we should turn to. We have our
police or our military for that. But in the 1950s, in South Africa, while reading, when I've read this book of Nelson Mandela,
I can see why a person could turn to violence to change around
racist government. Because when people are being murdered, just for their colour
that makes you turn to violence to.
But in the end of the show, I will have a lesson as well, why we should not turn to violence alone.
But for now someone della 1955 he and a group of friends are turning to violence and they're putting out dare guerrilla tactics against the government's. Now, these are things when you're reading about Nelson Mandela's life you're not proud of because turning to guerrilla tactics, while they are effective,
is not something you should do, of course,
now in 1962, after many incidents, Nelson Mandela as being captured and put into prison now in that time in those 10 years or 15 years now
peacefully, joined the ANC in 1943 and co founded Youth League in 1944. In this time in the 40s, Nelson Mandela still believed in a peaceful future. Because if you are one of the co founders of a Youth League, you are not thinking about violence, because youth and violence don't go together. But he 10 years later, after fighting peacefully for so long, he is forced to turn to violence and in the Rivonia trials. He and his friends are condoned, or are being sentenced to jail for recruitment, training and explosives, X to foreign units to invader republics and for views of communism. Yes, Nelson Mandela had views of communism. And this is also one of the reasons that he was
put into prison.
Now, in his last words, the trials about two years in his last words, before he goes before he gets the sentence. This is the quote of Nelson Mandela gifts.
during my lifetime, I've dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination. And I've fought against black domination.
I've cherished the idea of a democratic and free society in which all person will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live and to see realised but my Lord, if it needs to be, it isn't ideal for which I am prepared to die.
And of the quote.
There you have it, Nelson Mandela, being a peaceful protester being forced into violence
at a trial at the last
Before he will hear his sentence is calling for peace between all colours between white black and everything in between.
and that he has dedicated his life for democratic and free society. But also he's shown his part that he is willing and prepared to die for this cause. This is the part of him, which made him a fighter, which made him turn to guerrilla tactics.
Now, we all know the story. He's put into prison, and he will serve a sentence of 27 years. Was he sentenced to that? No.
He was sentenced for life. Now, how is it possible you're sentenced for life and you're released after 27 years.
In the case of Nelson Mandela, this is was this was due to political pressure from the outside
Because Nelson Mandela had so many supporters in different countries in different societies of life, the political pressure from foreign nations became so big that President f de Klerk, in 1990, released Nelson Mandela after 27 years of prison.
And this is something we can also think about because even though Nelson Mandela turned to violence at one point, peaceful protests at for example, a theatre
had so much impact on foreign nations, that they pressured South Africa into releasing Nelson Mandela. Now, this is the power of diplomacy. This is the power of protest. And this is the power of networking. We don't need the violence part of it. Well, Nelson Mandela is being released from prison. It's 1990
The world is rallying behind Nelson Mandela. And the support for him is so big, then it is inevitable that he will become the next President of South Africa. But how do you lead a country
that has been torn apart by apartheid?
How do you lead
citizens that once were your suppressors? Now, we already know that Nelson Mandela turned to violence but and this is the thing that I respect so much about him and what I learned from Nelson Mandela. He is so intelligent and so smart. And he's thinking about the future of the country, that he puts his sights, dos feelings, those feelings that he might, I'm sure he had it, of revenge.
He puts them aside and he thinks about what is best for the country. what is best for unity of South Africa do I want to be
President of the black people, or do I want to be a president for all people? And this does not mean that let's be clear about that. Does that not mean that Nelson Mandela forgets or for gifts, people that have turned to violence and have committed
acts against human rights? Because that is it. If you kill people because they're black, it's an X against human right.
He does not forget, he does not forgive. Because later in his presidency, he will form a committee led by black and white people
research everything that has happened and put people to trial that has that have conducted crimes against humanity. So he does not forgive and forget. He will put those people accountable in front of a judge and the judge will sentence them or not.
Mandela as a president is calling for unity against black for blacks and whites.
And how does he do this? He forms a government. Now he wins the democratic election. He wins the democratic election by a landslide. Really a landslide. His popularity was so big that he won big, big, big numbers. And he could have led the country with his own party. But he was well aware that if he wanted unity in the country, that his party the ANC, had never been in a leading position in a country before could not lead a country by itself. And it would also not show unity, if you would be the oppressor, suppressor of the National Party, the ones that were suppressing you for all those years. So he forms a government with three parties.
The entity and the National Party. And
even when forming this government of unity, he is putting demand, the former president of South Africa before him, the one who released him as the clerk.
He puts him in the position of deputy president.
There you have one of the political actors,
who is, yeah, of course, not solely responsible, but also responsible for black suppression and apartheid in your country.
And you're putting him into a position of deputy president because you know, this is best for the country. And Nelson Mandela even lets him the former president as the clerk, even lets him live
in the house of the President, and Nelson Mandela
takes on a different house, which he finds better suitable for his position as President of South Africa. But he has so much respect for the previous president. And he has so much. He is so aware of the importance of F. De Klerk. And what he stands for witness party that is keeping him into former presidents house. And he's forming a government with the National Party. Now, it has to be said that the National Party leaves the government of unity after two years, because, of course, even when you are joining a government, and you're a smaller minority group, especially since you have been leading the country for so many years. Suddenly you feel oppressed. Now, of course, this is not the case. But suddenly you are thinking that you're being suppressed and the National Party left
the government with the ANC with
President Nelson Mandela.
During the first two years, Nelson Mandela and the ANC make it very, very clear that one thing is of the out most important, there's only one priority. That is way above on the list of Nelson Mandela.
That is the unity of the country. And that means that in a position of lawmaking, it is the Bill of Rights.
And the Bill of Rights, you could see is the fundamental part of lawmaking. And it is comprehensive. It is about healthcare, pension, human rights, education, positive discrimination, everything. What you see right now in South Africa, comes from the Bill of Rights.
is a part of the law, which is being upholds by the judges.
And everybody has to submit to it. Not only governmental organisations, but also private people, or companies.
It is the fundamental parts of the country.
And we would call it right now the Constitution of South Africa. Now, in this first two years of being president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was forced with a lot of issues.
Because he found a country without clean water for 80% of the people, without any without sanitation for a lot of people with unequal education and get this with 20% of the national budget being spent on dept
Now 20% of the national budget being spent on depths,
I'm not good at finances, for sure. I'm gonna read a book of finances in the future. But if you are spending 20% of your budget, on paying off your debts and the interests of it, that does not leave, you have a lot of money to do other things to uphold the country, and also not a lot of money to invest at all. So being confronted with a situation that your country, your new country, South Africa, is practically bankrupt. Nelson Mandela has to deliver on his promises. He has to deliver on unity. He has to deliver on his promises that everybody's equal in the form of education, health, pensions, you name it, everybody should have it.
The first example where you can see that Nelson Mandela is a great
leader for everybody, and that he has a vision. He has a vision, and he is willing to put himself
in a dangerous situation. Now, one that struck me the most was in 1995 when you're reading this book, he's president of South Africa and in South Africa, rugby is a big sport. It's a national sport. It is like the soccer for Europe. But rugby is the National Sports and South Africa in 1995. is hosting directly World Cup, and it's playing the finale.
And indefinitely. South Africa wins. Now during the ceremony, but also while watching this whole events, Nelson Mandela is wearing the T shirt of the rugby team of South Africa, the Springbok
part which makes this controversial is that the Springboks the rugby team, is solely white at that time. It is a symbol, just like soccer can be or any sport can be a symbol of a country. The Springboks are a white symbol of South Africa. Despite this fact, Nelson Mandela is big enough to recognise that this sport is huge for South Africa. And he's showing up at his finale in a Springbok t shirt.
giving the trophy to the
the captain Francois Pina while wearing the Springbok t shirt now does show shoe that a black man that has been imprisoned for 27 years fighting against racism, becoming the new president of South Africa is holding no grudge because he knows that this is a moment of symbolism.
You showing that the symbol
of white pride at that time, the Springbok team of South Africa, the rugby team,
is getting the trophy out of the hands of a black president. Just paint that picture in front of you. If you couldn't see it in 1985. Maybe you can YouTube it to see the moments. Just picture it for a moment that a black president is giving the trophy to white captain of a rugby team. And with that, a picture says more than 1000 words. Nelson Mandela is the embodiment of unity. Now, this is what we see also in the Bill of Rights because in the Bill of Rights, he's giving to people health care, he's giving to people a pension now and they didn't even build. They didn't even give money to the government. And the government didn't even have money in his statistics for pensions. Same thing for REITs
He was explicit in the rights before Nelson Mandela, the black people didn't have a lot of rights. But he changed all of this. He changed the education. He put in positive discrimination.
positive discrimination is in the Bill of Rights of South Africa.
And you can think what you want to think about it. But at that time, this is a very good call, because black people have a lot to catch up. And for that time, positive discrimination is a good thing.
Nelson Mandela, in his book
mentioning some words about positive discrimination and that it forced
white people to get out of the country. And with that, a lot of brainpower.
Now, he regrets that these people left the country and that the brainpower left the country as well.
But he is
Happy for the fact that he promotes positive discrimination, because it will make the entire nation
smarter and better in the future.
Now, since 1997, this constitution is in force. And from what I believe it is still in force in South Africa.
And while you're thinking Nelson Mandela was fighting for black rights, Nelson Mandela was about so much more. And just to give you a hint, when when Nelson Mandela was getting into power, he made sure that women rights
were being upheld. It was not only about black rights, because we can easily say black rights and think about a black man. But what about women
he was fighting for DOS rights to and in fact, he made
Chairman and vice chairman of the National Assembly of South Africa. He put two women into positions of power of national power where law is being made.
And this still has effects in the
National Assembly of South Africa right now. Because if when I'm Wikipedia going to South Africa, the National Assembly, the current speaker is Dundee modeski. And what I believe
this is a woman, Tana Tandy Modi's, he is a woman. So here you have
a woman being speaker of the National Assembly, so many years after Nelson Mandela broke the glass ceiling for them, and gave them a position of power.
There you have it. Now what should we learn from Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela shows in his lifetime
that he was a man of violence and compassion
that he has passion and patience.
And he attacked his suppressor oppressor and showed intelligence and compassion.
These are all sites that live in you and me. We all have aggression. We all have intelligence. We all have compassion. We have patience, we have passion. Nelson Mandela has them too. And he showed all aspects of the human kind
in his lifetime, and for that,
we should still think about Nelson Mandela during these times of the Black Lives Matter movement. Because we can protest. We can turn to violence. But what is the next step? What is our plan for the future?
Are you being held accountable for your future? Are you changing the future? And when you're becoming, or when you're getting into a position of power
Are you going to are you going to be as intelligent as Nelson Mandela and fight for a government of unity?
So, that was the book that was the review Nelson Mandela. They are not to linger or do not linger I'm sorry, published in 2017. I loved reading this book because it makes me think about the current situation in the worlds with the Black Lives Matter movement. And it shows how you would think about the future and not hold a grudge about the past. Because the only thing you can change is the future. Thank you for listening. This is 50 books each year. If you liked the podcast, please leave a review in Apple podcast review section.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai