Opinion

No more cut-and-paste biographies of the man at the heart of our history

‘Tribal’ biographies are often examples of colonial anthropology parading as history — and make the case for a life of Mandela by an African scholar

16 February 2020 - 00:00 By Xolela Mangcu

In July 2005 I invited Henry Louis Gates Jnr, Cornel West and Wole Soyinka to deliver a series of lectures on the “meaning of Mandela”. I subsequently published the lectures in a small book of the same title with a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

For many years I had been expressing concerns that not a single African had written a full-length biography of Mandela...

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