Nelson Mandela, in his incredible transition from one of the world's longest-detained political prisoners to iconic statesman, became an exemplary figure of integrity and moral fortitude. In this fascinating essay, Elleke Boehmer traces the Nobel line of inheritance passed from Mandela to Obama, demonstrating how 'Madiba' emerged as a skilled orator and master of political theatre, characteristics which Obama would later adopt to great success. Looking beyond Mandela the symbol, it reveals the sophistication of his self-awareness, rhetorical style, political astuteness and strategic willingness to perform the roles required of him to achieve his political aim: freedom and equality in South Africa. A unique insight into a man who became a giant of the international stage, and his enduring legacy.
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