Sunday, September 20, 2020

The difference between Mandela and me!

This morning I woke up thinking of the old geezer. Thinking of him got my mind racing.
For those just out of short pants, I am talking about Nelson Mandela. If they did not teach you at school, Mandela is a man who decided to give up his life for the struggle against apartheid.
Let me refresh your memories by reminding you that apartheid was an evil system where the white people in South Africa, known as Boers, believed they were God’s gift to the country.

They treated the black population badly. In fact, the blacks were treated no different from slaves whose only function was to serve the white people.

But, as you know, much as they treated black men badly, they were partial to black women because when the missus was away, Boer men could have a romantic time with them.
In the face of this terrible treatment, the blacks decided to fight back. One of those who fought against the Boers was Nelson Mandela. The Boers were scared of him.

Finally they arrested him and at his trial they sentenced him and his friends to life in prison. His only offence was that he spoke against black people being treated like slaves in their own country.

You must be reminded that the Boers were not originally from this continent. They had sailed all the way from Europe because they were being harassed by the king and some priests.

Unfortunately, when they set foot here, they decided that they too had to harass the locals. This is what Mandela did not like. He could not understand how the Boers could treat black men badly and yet when the missus was away; get all romantic with black women. Anyway, because they thought Mandela was cheeky for asking such questions, they put him in jail and threw away the key.
I must admit Mandela was a strange man.

There were times when the Boers would offer to release him if he only could stop being cheeky. By this they meant if he stopped asking why they were cruel to black men and yet romanced black women.

But Mandela refused.

He told them that unless they answered his questions then he was quite content to stay in jail. And chill in jail he did.

For twenty seven years, Mandela was in prison because he refused to stop being cheeky. I mean how can a man stay in prison for so long when he could regain his freedom by ceasing to ask the Boers why they slept with black women and yet treated black men badly.
I want to be honest.

If I was in Mandela’s situation I would have bailed out during the first few months. I would have told the Boers I would stop being cheeky so as to be let out.

The thought of cold beers outside, nice music and beautiful women would have forced me to recant so as to be freed in order to go out and enjoy life.

Truth be told, I would not have coped with twenty seven years. Heck, I would not have coped with three months.

I would have signed a statement put before me the moment they opened the cell door.
But you see that is what makes Mandela different from me. He did not care for the cold beers, lovely music and nice chicks. He cared for all black people and was prepared to stay in jail for their sake even if it meant dying there.

Now this is remarkable.

I mean, Mandela was not much different from that other bloke who walked on water all those years ago. I don’t think Mandela has ever thought of it, but I have a sneaky feeling he can pull of the stunt if he applies his mind.

I think Mandela can walk on water if the idea occurs to him. Anyway after twenty seven years the Boers did not know what to do. The worse they treated black men, the more stubborn the slaves became.

In the meantime the Boers were enjoying their romance with black women. It was a tricky situation.
Finally, some Boers decided that the only way to romance black women openly, and damn the missus, was if they changed the way they treated black men.

To show they had turned a new leaf the Boers had to release Mandela.

When they finally did, they got the shock of their lives because he emerged from jail all smiles and without any bitterness in him.

Now that is another remarkable thing about Mandela.

Let’s face it if the Boers had kept me in jail for that long, they would have known who I am the very day of my release.

They would have paid for all the cold beers, nice music and petite chicks I had missed in all my twenty seven years in jail.

I swear the Boers would have paid a heavy price. I would also have distributed their women amongst all black men to compensate for all the time they were romancing black women when the missus was away. In fact, it would have been two Boer women per one black man. Not stopping there, I would have driven all the Boer men back into the sea, from whence they came.

I would keep a couple of thousands in jail to take out for a public hanging whenever I was bored.

I mean that would not be too harsh considering they had thrown me in jail for twenty seven years. But because Mandela is not me, he was cool when he came out. He kissed the Boers and forgave them. He behaved just like that bloke who forgave those sadists when they were busy nailing him to the cross because they didn’t know what they were doing.
Amazing stuff.

I am reminded of the old geezer because today he turns 92. Last week before the World Cup final, I saw him smiling and chilling as always without any anger or bitterness. He looked contented and I thought, would it not be nice if he lived up to the age of three hundred years, just like those blokes in the Bible like Noah, who just lived on and on.
Watching him, I also thought, the Boers are so lucky Mandela is not me.
Otherwise, as we say in the vernacular, they would know me properly!

Happy Birthday old geezer!


Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.