What if we look at Madiba from a new angle? It’s a different ...

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What if we look at Madiba from a new angle? It’s a different kind of magic

John Meyer’s paintings portray images of Nelson Mandela in ways you might not have seen before

Chris Thurman

I have a fairly jaundiced view of the way Nelson Mandela the icon (rather than Nelson Mandela the historical figure) has been used, re-used, misrepresented and appropriated to a thousand purposes more or less anathema to the man and his mission.

So I was inclined to agree with Rebecca Davis when, writing for Daily Maverick after the sabotage and looting that brought KwaZulu-Natal to its knees, she opined: “Please don’t talk to me about Mandela right now.”

Mandela’s birthday became more heavily loaded than usual last month with symbolic significance: depending on who you listened to, Davis noted, it was either “dripping with poignancy because of how far we’ve fallen from the prelapsarian Eden of the mid-90s, or beautifully fitting because we can all get out there and do what Madiba would have wanted: namely, sweep up all the broken shops”...

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