Yesterday, December 5, Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, Nobel Prize winner and international icon, died peacefully. Tributes to the leader have come from Desmond Tutu, Wole Soyinka, Thabo Mbeki and Barack Obama, among many others. Other articles have stressed Mandela’s economic legacy, his efforts to combat the HIV/AIDs throughout South Africa, his goals of racial reconciliation and his political acumen. For a series of photos on Mandela’s life see here and for some of the man’s thoughts on how he had hoped to be remembered, see here.
Brookings scholars have also paid their tributes to the man.
Mwangi Kimenyi wrote:
“He is a sort of spirit that reminds us all of what humans can achieve if they work together and if people of all races and creeds see each other as equals.”
Haroon Bhorat wrote:
“I was a student, bound by revolutionary anti-apartheid anger, as were many of my cohort, the day Mandela was released. I listened to the great man give his first speech after his release from prison…He spoke clearly and eloquently, of course, but the words that stood out for me were his first: ‘I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.’ I knew then, that Madiba would deliver us to freedom.”
Vera Songwe wrote:
“In his elegant and soft, but incisive, style Mandela left behind a blueprint for leaders and citizens of Africa on how to ensure peace through democracy”
For more reflections by Brookings scholars, see here.