South Africans Reflect on Mandela’s ‘Rainbow Nation’

From the Nelson Mandela Foundation website

From the Nelson Mandela Foundation website

This National Public Radio feature interviews South Africans and gives a fascinating map of the work-in-progress of this ‘Rainbow Nation.’

Here’s an taste: click to hear the whole feature…

From the interview with political commentator Justice Malala: “When I was 20 years old, 23 years ago, I walked with fear in Johannesburg and in Pretoria where I grew up. This wasn’t my country at all,” Malala says. “Today I can say with confidence that this is my country. As a black man, I feel that I belong here, and I have dignity.”

But Malala notes that economics continue to divide the country, calling it a legacy of apartheid.

“Now that fact leads to resentment on the part of the have-nots who say, ‘Well, whose freedom is this, and why is it working for them, and why isn’t it working for me?’ ” he says. “And so you can’t say racial issues have been resolved in this country.”

In essence, the interview shows that the ‘Rainbow Nation’ is “a reality in the making.” In 20 years, the foundation of transformation has been created — and the messy process begins. And even in death, Mandela continues to hold a space for coalition, for possibility and for transformation.

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