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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Saint of the Struggle: Deconstructing the Mandela Myth
Author:Solani, Noel
Periodical:Kronos: Journal of Cape History
Geographic term:South Africa
biographies (form)
Ethnic and Race Relations
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
About person:Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918-2013)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/41056409
Abstract:One of the most pervasive heroic narratives in postapartheid South Africa is that surrounding Nelson Mandela. This article is about the making and unsettling of the Mandela myth. It analyses Mandela as he has been positioned and represented in a wide range of spheres: autobiographical, in the media, in museums, etc. It looks at the representation of Mandela as a 'saint' and how that myth has been created, starting in the 1960s and continuing into the 1990s. Evaluating Mandela's political life congruent to his social life, the article aims to deconstruct the Mandela myth. It shows how those opposed to Mandela and the ANC, like the Mofokeng group, have challenged the myth and have come up with diametrically opposed narratives. The article looks at Mandela's successes, arguing that these success stories can also be attributed to the collective ANC leadership. This is done by examining Mandela's role both at the micro (family) level and at the macro level. Finally, the article shows how the Mandela mythology is continued in public places and at the Robben Island Museum, although the last two years have seen attempts at the Museum to minimize the focus on Mandela. Notes, ref.