Ben Okri on Nelson Mandela

He demonstrated, almost more than anybody else in our times, how you transfigure the great burden of suffering and expectation into forgiveness, grace and dignity. He held the hand of South Africa through its most difficult time and calmed the nerves of those who were afraid of what might befall it during that transition. He helped the nation become itself and he taught all of us around the world how to really bear difficulty with dignity.


Ben Okri pays his respects to Nelson Mandela on the BBC’s Newsnight. Okri remembers the “poetic figure” and all that this memory entails; “his integrity, his beauty of spirit, his love of dance, his sense of humour, his dress style”.

See Ben Okri live at Africa Writes 2015. Book tickets here.