Monday, June 24, 2013

Remembering Mandela

Nelson Mandela in the basement studio of UN Television where I (grinning guy on the right) had just finished interviewing him. It was 22 June 1990 and he had come to the UN fresh out of prison in South Africa to speak to the UN General Assembly's Special Committee Against Apartheid. The photograph shows Kamil Taha, the Producer of the show (on the left of the table), giving his pen to Mandela so he could autograph my copy of the speech. Before signing, Mandela jokingly asked me if he should, like Mahatma Gandhi, charge for the signature. (Gandhi used to charge one rupee per autograph to raise money for the Harijan Fund.) I reached for my wallet but he waved it aside. "I'm not as great as Gandhi" he said. The other people in the picture are members of the African National Congress.

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