What Mandela meant to African activists

Fighting for Freedom and Equality

by Hassen Hussein @HusseinHxhuss10 December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela’€™s example holds the promise for an Africa that is at peace with itself






Tadesse and Mandela
Nelson Mandela (right) with Ethiopian colonel and Oromo rights activist Tadesse Birru in 1962.

I came of age in troubled 1980s Ethiopia under the dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam, right after a generation attempting to bring about social change inspired by Marxism was thinned out. Few in my generation had any appetite for political activism. Even if some of us managed to shed misgivings about the risks of Africa’s politics, we had hardly any genuine leaders to look up to. Fewer could identify with the plethora of official leaders paraded on national TV, our only window to the world outside. 

The Pan-African leaders of prior decades, pioneers in the struggle for independence…

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