Bono’s brilliant Nelson Mandela tribute

Bono and Mandela

There are lots of great things being written today about the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday evening at the age of 95.  But what makes this piece from Bono so interesting is that it comes not from the perspective of a songwriter or a poet, but from a friend and a mentee.  The remembrance also does an admirable job of reflecting on some of the leader’s greatest accomplishments:

Mandela saw extreme poverty as a manifestation of the same struggle. “Millions of people … are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free,” he said in 2005. “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome … Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.” It certainly fell to Mandela to be great … Without Mandela, would Africa be experiencing its best decade of growth and poverty reduction? His indispensability can’t be proved with math and metrics, but I know what I believe …

You can read “The Man Who Couldn’t Cry” in its entirety at

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