Mandela documentary a fond reflection of an icon’s life
Richmore Tera “Nelson Mandela’s message of freedom, forgiveness and reconciliation still inspires people worldwide. Almost 20 years ago, in 1994, he became the first president of a democratic South Africa – a historical step, the end of Apartheid.” These words were said by South African film director, Khalo Matabane, while remarking on his documentary titled “Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me”, that will made its premiere at the Goethe Centre in Windhoek on August 29. The documentary captures the general feeling that most South Africans and Africans and the world in general, had at the time when Mandela was released from incarceration from Robben Island and walked his long walk to freedom that saw him forgiving his aggressors and declaring South Africa as a Rainbow Nation. This is the same feeling that Matabane the producer had when he wrote a personal letter to the late liberation icon, when he asked his “childhood hero some important questions, which he has been asking himself for many years.” Part of the letter read thus: “Tata Mandela, we are one of the most unequal societies in the world; people are impatient they can’t wait any longer. Our people feel that change is slow and the system favours the powerful and the wealthy. There are protests everywhere, people demand change everywhere, and people demand freedom, real freedom everywhere.” ‘Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me’ has no sacred cows as the director tries to hold everyone accountable for their actions in a South Africa that should be enjoying the fruits brought about independence in 1994. ‘Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me’ is a powerful documentary by one of South Africa’s leading film directors, a personal journey and a soul searching mission on the status quo of South Africa, 20 years after the end of Apartheid. Matabane reflects on the promises, the achievements, hopes and unfulfilled dreams mirrored in the daily realities of South Africans. “Once he (Mandela) was released and became a respected political actor, Matabane was surprised and maybe a little disappointed by Mandela’s attitude. “Where was the anger? Instead of revenge, Mandela asks for forgiveness – even for the perpetrators of the apartheid regime,” reads part of the synopsis. The production – whose screening is supported by Africiné Critics and FNB Foundation – features award-winning Nigerian novelist, poet and human rights activist, Wole Soyinka, Somalian writer Nuruddin Farah, Ronnie Kasrils, Colin Powell the former United States Secretary of State, (2001-2005), Joachim Gauck, Albie Sachs Former Constitutional Court Judge, (1994 – 2009), Dr Henry A. Kissinger Former US Secretary of State and Security Advisor, (1973 – 1977), Greg Marinovich South African photojournalist, Zubeida Jaffer and South African journalist and anti-Apartheid activist, among others.