Mugabe criticizes Mandela for “being too saintly, too good” to White South Africans
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has criticized Nelson Mandela (former President of South Africa) for being too soft on whites, in a documentary giving a rare and intimate look into the family life of one of Africa’s longest-serving and most vilified leaders.
In a cosy lunch setting with his wife and children, the 89-year-old speaks on a range of issues, including his controversial hold on power and his relationships with former British premiers Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.
The two-and-a-half-hour interview, described in detail by British and South African media ahead of its airing, portrays the usually bellicose and sharp-tongued Mr. Mugabe as a loving family man.
Dali Tambo, the son of South African anti-apartheid hero Oliver Tambo, produced the documentary, which is scheduled to be broadcast on South African public television next Sunday.
In the program, Mr. Tambo dines with Mr. Mugabe’s family at his wife Grace’s dairy farm.
The interview comes just months ahead of crucial general elections in Zimbabwe, which in recent decades has gone from being the breadbasket of Southern Africa to its biggest problem child.
One of Africa’s most popular liberation leaders, Mr. Mugabe has clashed with the West over controversial policies that saw white-owned farms violently seized more than a decade ago.
In neighbouring South Africa, where white land ownership is still a flashpoint, Mr. Mugabe says former president Nelson Mandela was not hard enough.
He says former colonial master Britain — with whom he has had a fraught relationship over the land grabs — “will praise you only if you are doing things that please them”.
“Mandela has gone a bit too far in doing good to the non-Black communities, really in some cases at the expense of (Blacks),” Mr. Mugabe says of his former South African counterpart.
“That’s being too saintly, too good, too much of a saint,” the Sunday Independent newspaper quotes him saying in the documentary.
Despite Mr. Mugabe’s disagreements with Thatcher, the former British prime minister who died in April, he says he preferred the Iron Lady to her later successor Tony Blair.
“Mr.s Thatcher, you could trust her. But of course what happened later was a different story with the Labour Party and Blair, who you could never trust,” Mr. Mugabe says.
“Who can ever believe what Mr. Blair says? Here we call him Bliar.”
But despite having governed for 32 years, Africa’s oldest ruler also insists on staying in power.
According to The Guardian in Britain, the topic of the upcoming vote unleashes Mr. Mugabe’s fiery rhetoric as he bangs his fist on an armrest and insists: “There is a fight to fight.”
“My people still need me,” he tells Mr. Tambo. “And when people still need you to lead them, it’s not time, sir, it doesn’t matter how old you are, to say goodbye.”
Mr. Mugabe presently shares power with his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, after violent disputed polls in 2008. No date has yet been set for this year’s elections although Mr. Mugabe is pressing for them to go ahead as soon as possible.
Mr. Tambo, 54, brushed off criticism that the programme — which will air as part of his People of the South television series that profiles celebrities and public figures — polishes Mr. Mugabe’s image ahead of the vote.
He told the Sunday Independent that he had also interviewed Rhodesian leader Ian Smith for a previous series.
Mr. Mugabe was “warm, charismatic and very humorous”, Mr. Tambo said.
According to The Guardian, during the meal Mr. Mugabe pours out his heart on his love for his wife and their “oneness”.
In unusual candour, Mr. Mugabe also explains his affair with Grace while still married to his sickly first wife, Sally — he wanted to give his mother grandchildren.
“As Sally was still going through her last few days, although it might have appeared to some as cruel, I said to myself, ‘Well, it’s not just myself needing children, my mother has all the time said, ah, am I going to die without seeing grandchildren.’”
He married Grace, his secretary more than 40 years his junior, after Sally Mugabe died in 1992. They have three children.
Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )
Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal
USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin. By Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/
Long Live, CHINUA ACHEBE! The Eagle on the iroko. By Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, Security, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University, is the Publisher of USAfrica and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com
Africa’s most acclaimed and fluent writer of the English Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in the world, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions, cultural custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwill ambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, the Eagle on the Iroko, Ugo n’abo Professor Chinua Achebe,joined his ancestors a few hours ago, at the age of 82, in a peaceful and graceful transition in the warm company of his family.
Reasonably, Achebe’s message has been neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He’s our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans and lovers of the fine art of good writing. Achebe’s cultural contexts are, at once, pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literary contextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igbo or Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall.
His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of the true essence of his/our Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing and disposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures) this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce, juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of the vitality of the individual/self.
In Achebe’s works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology… it is a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude while taking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.
I’ve studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, the rigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed in most of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, because I share the same Igbo ancestry with him.
Permit me to attempt a brief sentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle on the Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one like you! Ugo n’abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!
FULL text of this tribute-commentary at USAfricaonline.com click link http://usafricaonline.com/2013/03/22/long-live-chinua-achebe-by-chido-nwangwu/
Mandela, others send tributes mourning Achebe
The death of the grand-father of modern African literature Prof. Chinua Achebe is drawing several messages from some of the world’s leaders, Nigeria’s president, his friends, contemporaries and writers.
A statement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa has been sent to the family of the late renowned writer Chinua Achebe. It conveyed, on behalf of the Chairperson, Board of Trustees and staff of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, “our condolences to the family of Prof. Chinua Achebe, a great African writer and thinker, who passed away on 21 March 2013 at the age of 82.”
Nelson Mandela, a friend of Achebe’s and an avid reader of his works, notably once referred to Prof. Achebe as a writer “in whose company the prison walls fell down” — a reference to Mandela’s 27 years in apartheid South Africa jail.
Both men are known for their principled positions on issues of justice, opposition to bigotry, discrimination and commitment to fairness to all persons and support for progressive pan Africanism. By Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, Security, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University, is the Publisher of USAfrica and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com
Eight lessons of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. http://usafricaonline.com/2009/11/01/chido-8lessons-rwanda-genocide/