Former president Nelson Mandela’s eldest grandson, Mandla Mandela, has expressed dissatisfaction with the rate at which “everything” in the country is renamed after his grandfather.
According to Mandla, there were many ordinary South Africans who sacrificed more than Nelson Mandela and also died for the struggle, so such “ordinary” citizens should also be immortalized, their stories should be told and their impacts should be lauded.
Speaking to reporters at his residence in Mvezo Great Place, the Mvezo chief disclosed that it was Mandela’s wish to have such people celebrated and memorialized.
Mandla Mandela was reacting to a recent proposal to have Mthatha Airport renamed after Nelson Mandela. Mthatha airport is in Eastern Cape and was previously named K. D. Matanzima Airport after Kaiser Matanzima, a president of the former Transkei and Mandela’s cousin.
“People are so fixated on Nkosi Dalibhunga’s name [Madiba’s praise name] that they want to Mandelise everything. So every entity must now be named after Nkosi Dalibhunga, disregarding the entire legacy of the rest of the lineage of abaThembu.”
The chief of the Mandela family added that although he was approached by the Aviation Board in charge of airports in the Eastern Cape, for the proposal, he swore not to be part of a plan to erase KD Matanzima’s name from history.
Nevertheless, he opined that renaming Port Elizabeth Airport after Madiba “won’t be a bad idea since the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was already named after him.”
It is pertinent to note that thousands of streets, buildings, and other community facilities are named after Nelson Mandela, from Africa to Asia, Europe, and America.
Data obtained from Google maps and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory shows that road and streets across the globe named Mandela topped the chart with (54%) followed by schools (28%), and accommodation (19%), while villages sat at the bottom of the chart with (2%).
Furthermore, across continents, Mandela is highly immortalized in Europe (98%), followed by Africa (85%), North America (22%), Asia (15%), South America (10%), and least immortalized in Australia (1%).