Madiba and the doo-wap girls

Nelson Mandela The Musical in three parts. Good heavens, can we trivialise the life of this great man any more than by turning it into a singing, dancing extravaganza? I don’t think its much of a tribute, I think it is a farce. You wouldn’t turn the persecution of the Jews into a musical would you? No, because that would be insensitive and inappropriate, but we can do it to Nelson Mandela.

I also seem to be one of the few utterly disgusted by the obsession with his death. It seems the media and most of South Africa is waiting for him to die so they eulogise him. The fact that he is still alive and kicking seems almost to irritate them; after all they have so much planned for when he dies. Yes, he is very old. Yes, he is closer to the grave than the cradle, but go carry on harping about it is at best insensitive and at worst utterly macabre.

My son aged 6 believes that Madiba is always happy. The only time he is not is when a small child is hurt. Death and SARS. They come for us all, but neither are things we like to dwell on in much detail. My mother is a pensioner. Yesterday she took my offspring to the Montecasino Bird Park, a place that holds them in thrall for hours.

At the entrance Small boy aged 9 reads the sign and says to the ticket seller, “1 adult and 3 children, please.”
Grandmother: “No, darling, I am not an adult, I am a pensioner, over here” she says pointing to the sign.
Small boy aged 9 reads it carefully and says loudly, “Sorry, 3 children and one prisoner then.”
The queue erupted into laughter and one elderly man turned to her and commiserated, “Not much difference is there really between being a pensioner or a prisoner?”
I suppose not, in some way or another we’re all waiting for parole.

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