Nelson Mandela was many things to many people, but his sense of humor, his dry wit and his remarkable ability to render someone speechless with a well-placed one-liner, is a separate topic worth to be remembered.
He was not the kind of man to fall over in laughter or to guffaw loudly. He did not make silly gaffes, inappropriate innuendos or stupid jokes. Instead, just like the rest of him, his humor was dignified, statesmanlike and perhaps a little old-fashioned.
Some of Mandela’s jokes were well-used and a bit cheesy, but that did not detract from their simplicity and effectiveness.
He had a small arsenal of one-liners he used for different people.
If he met a married couple, he demanded to know from the lady, “When did you propose to your husband?”
Of course, for Mandela, with his early 20th century, patriarchal value system, it was hugely amusing to imagine anything as audacious as a woman asking a man to marry her. And of course, his question was always met with nervous, unnaturally loud laughter that broke the ice.
Either way, Mandela won over foes, disarmed critics and charmed the media with his cutesy, gee-whiz humor.
Besides the jokes, he could also lather complete strangers with devastatingly flattering compliments. He often said to those whose lives are not distinguished by public office or marked by accolades, “I am so honored to meet you.”
More often than not, he would poke fun at himself with classic comic timing. He would often start off a speech by thanking everyone for coming to listen to “such an old man.”
Later, after he stood down after one term as South African president, he won over a group of staid, white South African businessmen by telling them, “Nowadays, I am just a poor pensioner. I am jobless. Maybe you could hire me?”
Self-mockery was a typically savvy Mandela ploy to ensure that people would relax around him.
The cult of Mandela had become so pronounced that celebrities, world leaders and ordinary people often became tongue-tied and gibbering when they met him.
So, joking about his failings or mistakes was just another way of Mandela saying: “Chill! I’m cool. Relax.”
Mandela walked with a ramrod gait, straight-backed and stiff. Over the years,many people meet him for the first time, and without exception, they came away from the encounter amazed at how tall and regal-looking he was.
Only children seemed unintimidated by his height and fame. There is something about Mandela that kids loved.
Little children would run to him without knowing why they were doing it and toddlers rustle around his legs like purring kittens. For them, and even us adults, perhaps he was like a smiling South African Santa Claus?
The feeling was mutual. Mandela mined children for their opinions and views of the world. He seemed to relish their brutal honesty and innocent humor.
One of Mandela’s favorite anecdotes — often told in public — was of a conversation he had with a 4-year-old girl who asked him how old he was. Mandela replied, “I can’t remember, but I was born long, long ago.” She then asked him why he went to jail. Mandela replied, “I didn’t go there because I liked it. Some people sent me there.” She asked how long he had been in jail. Mandela again replied, “I can’t remember, but it was a long, long time.” Mandela then relays to his audience that after a thoughtful pause the little girl said, “You are a stupid old man, aren’t you?”
Mandela’s good humor and jovial demeanor were not just a public ploy to charm crowds or disarm nervous guests. He used it to great effect in his political life.
A familiar story in South Africa is how, during multiparty negotiations before the 1994 democratic election, he would often gently tease the leader of a rightwing Afrikaner party, Gen. Constant Viljoen, by saying, “We have to let the white man talk; after all, he is from the supreme race.”
Again, a slightly naughty, cheeky grin would subsequently appear, by which time the chilly, racially charged atmosphere would have been warmed up by nervous laughter.
For Mandela, sports were a major weapon against racism
Mandela even amused the British royal family with his casual, overfamiliarity with the Queen, whom he called “Elizabeth” and not “Your Majesty.”
It was a deliberate snub against pomp and protocol for the simple, humble Mandela. “Well, she calls me Nelson,” was his repost, when one of his grandchildren asked if it was not perhaps in bad form to call the Queen by her first name.
One only wonders the response from the British establishment when Mandela complemented “Elizabeth” on her figure; “Why, Elizabeth, you’ve lost weight!” he reportedly said to the famously stiff-upper-lipped monarch.
Mandela’s humor was centered in his inherent sense of self. He played the fool or jester sometimes, all the while knowing that he was fundamentally deeply content with himself.
While some leaders flounder with self-doubt, or others primp with self-congratulations, Mandela was merely a twinkle away from nudging you in the ribs with a self-knowing smile.
South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died at age 95, South Africa’s president announced on Dec. 5, 2013.
Mandela’s funeral will be held on Dec. 15 in South Africa, following 10 days of mourning, President Jacob Zuma announced today. A memorial service will be held at Soccer City in Soweto on Dec. 10, and Mandela’s body will lie in state from Dec. 11 through the 13th.
25 out of 1900 escaped prisoners return to Correctional Centre in Edo
No fewer than 25 out of the 1900 inmates who escaped from the Sapele Road and Oko Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State have returned to prison.
This comes after the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki issued an ultimatum for the escapees to return to the correctional centre or face the full wrath of the law.
Information Nigeria recalls that on October 19, hoodlums masquerading as #EndSARS protesters stormed the two prisons and freed inmates.
ThisDay reported that an official of the Sapele Road Correctional Centre who disclosed this, further revealed that one of the escapees had been recaptured after he was shot in the leg last Wednesday.
It was further gathered that two out of the 25 inmates who returned were inmates at the Oko Medium Correctional Centre along Airport Road, Benin.
“The Department of State Security, the police and officials of the Nigerian Correctional Services will soon commence a manhunt for the runaway inmates immediately after a seven-day grace the state government gave them has elapsed.
“We have a way of arresting runway prisoners. We will swing into action once the protest calms down nationwide. The earlier they return on their own, the better for them.
“Those who are rearrested will be retried and sentenced to extra seven years if convicted. So, it is in their own interest to return as the governor has given them extra one week of grace to do so.”
Nigerian Lawyer, Adegboruwa reacts to Fashola’s ‘discovery’ of camera at Lekki tollgate
Ebun Adegboruwa, Nigeria lawyer has reacted to the discovery of a hidden camera at Lekki tollgate by Nigeria’s minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola.
Member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into the activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Adegboruwa said Mr Fashola has illegally tampered with exhibits.
The senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN made this known in a statement on Monday titled, ‘Usurpation of powers of the panel of inquiry on SARS abuses’.
Adegboruwa who stated that it is illegal for anyone to conduct any visit to the said Lekki Toll Plaza in the absence of and without the authority and consent of the Panel, appealed to the Governor of Lagos State to allow the Panel the full autonomy and independence that was promised at the time of inauguration.
The statement read;
“BRF TAMPERS WITH EVIDENCE
AT LEKKI TOLL GATE ..RETRIEVES HIDDEN CAMERA WITHOUT PANEL’S CONSENT….”
USURPATION OF POWERS OF THE PANEL OF INQUIRY ON SARS ABUSES
On Sunday, October 25, 2020, it was widely publicized that Ministers and Governors of the South-West visited the Governor of Lagos State on a sympathy tour of structures affected by the wanton looting and destruction that took place last week. In the course of their visit, they were led to the Lekki Toll Plaza, to assess the situation thereat. It was at the same Lekki Toll Plaza that the incident of alleged shooting of EndSARS protesters was said to have taken place. And based on public outcry, the Governor of Lagos State added the Lekki Toll Plaza incident to the terms of reference of the Judicial Panel that was set up.
Since the Panel has been vested with jurisdiction over the Lekki Toll Plaza, I verily believe that it is illegal for anyone else to conduct any visit to the said Lekki Toll Plaza in the absence of and without the authority and consent of the Panel. It was reported that in the course of the visit, the former governor of Lagos State and the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, discovered a hidden camera, which he took. This is a clear case of illegally tampering with exhibits that may become useful to the Panel in the course of its assignment.
I appeal to the Governor of Lagos State to allow the Panel the full autonomy and independence that was promised at the time of inauguration. It is contempt of the Panel for anyone to usurp the powers of the Panel in the way that has been reported. In this regard, the Panel will not shy away from summoning anyone who is alleged to be involved in any contemptuous act that may obstruct the course of justice.
I call on all Nigerians to come up with their complaints before the Panel for proper ventilation, as it begins its sitting today.
Child Traffickers Nabbed In Anambra (Video)
Two child traffickers who kidnapped and sold a child for N920,000 have been nabbed in Anambra state.
In a video that has since gone viral, the suspects confessed on how they lured and sold the child after been grilled.
The male suspect said he was paid 400, 000 Naira to kidnap the child from his home and hand him over to the female suspect, who in turn sold the child.
The woman, who was nabbed in Awomama, said the people she sold the child to gave her a total of 920,000 Naira – 520k for her and 400k for the man.
Fortunately, the child was rescued after the female child trafficker was nabbed and she led them to the people she sold the child to.
Confronting both child traffickers, those present searched the woman’s bag and they found treats like biscuits she uses to lure kids. They also found charm together with the packs of biscuit.
The woman said she used to own a restaurant in Umuebuke, Uli, before she began child trafficking.
Watch the video below:
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