Obama’s Speech at the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture

This week there are celebrations of the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela all around South Africa, marking a centenary since his birth.

For me one of the highlights of this week of celebrations was the speech of  Former US President Barack Obama during the annual Mandela Lecture to commemorate Mandela Day, Johannesburg, South Africa, 17 July 2018.

The photo is from the original transcript article published by Daily Maverick and the credit for the image goes to EPA-EFE/STR.

Here is a link to the transcript of his speech on one of my favourite media platforms in South Africa, the Daily Maverick. Even if you are familiar with the history and the story that Obama is telling in this speech, I encourage you to read it all the way to the end.

What resounded with me is the importance to not only talk about equality, inclusion, democracy; but to also think deeply about human dignity, about underdeveloped potential and the connectedness of all of us on this one planet. So much of the narrative in South Africa (and increasingly in the Western world) is about race, about identity and exclusion. I am sure that the late Nelson Mandela would have been saddened by the current global shifts and affairs, especially when we think about our children and especially those children that are growing up in really adverse conditions not of their own making.



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Shawn Cunningham

I am passionate about how organisations and institutions change in developing and transitioning countries. I essentially work between organisations, communities, industries and experts.

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