By Associated Press,
The world knows Nelson Mandela as a man who forever changed the course of modern history and who will surely continue to leave his mark long after his death Thursday at the age of 95.
You may know that he spent 27 years in prison, that he led South Africa out of apartheid and that he served as his nation’s first black president.
But did you know about the role of rugby in his legacy? His musings on Valentine’s Day? The lessons he taught sympathetic prison guards during his time behind bars?
Here are some details from Mandela’s life that you might not have known.
FATHER OF THE NATION
Nelson Mandela’s place as South Africa’s premier hero is so secure that the central bank released new banknotes in 2012 showing his face. Busts and statues in his likeness dot the country and buildings, squares and other places are named after him. At Soweto’s Regina Mundi Catholic church, a center of protests and funeral services for activists during the apartheid years, there is a stained glass image of Mandela with arms raised. South African Airways even emblazoned his silhouetted image on planes.
A $1.25 million project to digitally preserve a record of Mandela’s life went online last year at http://archive.nelsonmandela.org. The project by Google and Mandela’s archivists gives researchers — and anyone else — access to hundreds of documents, photographs and videos. In one 1995 note, written in lines of neat handwriting in blue ink, Mandela muses on Valentine’s day. It appears to be a draft of a letter to a young admirer, in which Mandela said his rural upbringing by illiterate parents left him “colossally ignorant” about simple things like a holiday devoted to romance.
At his inauguration, Mandela stood hand on heart, saluted by white generals as he sang along to two anthems: the apartheid-era Afrikaans “Die Stem” (”The Voice”) and the African “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (”Lord Bless Africa”).
A NEW LIFE
When Mandela went free after 27 years, he walked hand-in-hand with his wife Winnie out of a prison on the South African mainland, and raised his right fist in triumph. In his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” he would write: “As I finally walked through those gates ... I felt — even at the age of seventy-one — that my life was beginning anew.”
A WAYS TO GO
Mandela is widely credited with helping to avert race-driven chaos as South Africa emerged from apartheid. But he could not forge lasting solutions to poverty, unemployment and other social ills that still plague his country. Though relatively stable, it has struggled to live up to its rosy depiction as the “Rainbow Nation.”
Since apartheid ended, the country has peacefully held four parliamentary elections and elected three presidents, and Mandela’s African National Congress said in 2013 the economy had expanded 83 percent since 1994. But corruption in the party has undercut some of its early promise, and the white minority is far wealthier than the black majority, partly fueling violent crime.
Mandela’s last public appearance was in 2010. Bundled up against the cold, he smiled broadly and waved to the crowd at the Soccer City stadium during the closing ceremony of the World Cup, an event that allowed his country to take the world spotlight. Mandela had kept a low profile during the monthlong tournament, deciding against attending the opening ceremony after the death of his great-grand daughter in a traffic accident following a World Cup concert.
MANDELA THE RECONCILER
Mandela was born the son of a tribal chief in Transkei, a Xhosa homeland. Many South Africans of all races call him by his clan name, Madiba, which means “reconciler,” as a token of affection and respect.
THE HARSHER SIDE
Despite his saintly image, Mandela could be harsh. When black journalists mildly criticized his government, he painted them as stooges of the whites who owned the media. Whites with complaints were sometimes dismissed as pining for their old privileges. To critics of his closeness to Fidel Castro and Moammar Gadhafi, Mandela insisted he wouldn’t forsake supporters of the anti-apartheid struggle.
Mandela eventually turned to fighting AIDS, publicly acknowledging in 2005 that his son, Makgatho, had died of the disease. The nation, which has the most people living with HIV in the world at 5.6 million, still faces stigma and high rates of infection.
Mandela celebrated holidays and hosted dignitaries among the huts of rural Qunu in a replica of the prison guard’s home where he lived during his final days of confinement. Ever self-deprecating, Mandela maintained he chose to recreate the home from Victor Verster prison because he was already familiar with it and wouldn’t “have to wander at night looking for the kitchen.” But his fellow South Africans saw the decision as an inspiring way to transform the old structure of imprisonment into one of freedom. Many of Mandela’s close relatives live in Qunu, and the family burial plot is just yards from the home.
‘A DEMOCRATIC AND FREE SOCIETY’
A statement Mandela made during his 1964 sabotage trial revealed his resolve in the fight to end white racist rule. “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people,” Mandela said. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Two months later, he and seven other defendants were sentenced to life in prison.
UNITED BY RUGBY
In 1995, Mandela strode onto the field at the Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg wearing South African colors and bringing the overwhelmingly white crowd of more than 60,000 to its feet. “Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!” they chanted as the president congratulated the victorious home team. Mandela’s decision to wear the Springbok emblem, the symbol once hated by blacks, conveyed the message that rugby, so long shunned by the black population, was now for all South Africans.
Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994. At the close of his inauguration speech, he said: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.”
“Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa!”
Mandela was confined to the harsh Robben Island prison off the coast of Cape Town for most of his time behind bars. He and others quarried limestone there, working seven hours a day nearly every day for 12 years, until forced labor was abolished on the island. In secret, Mandela — inmate No. 46664 — wrote at night in his tiny concrete-floored cell.
It was forbidden to quote him or publish his photo, but go-betweens ferried messages from prisoners to anti-apartheid leaders in exile. Prisoners gathered in small groups for Socratic seminars, and Mandela offered lessons on the movement to guards he thought would be open to persuasion. All the guards were white; all the prisoners were black, mixed race, or Asian.
‘LOOK INTO YOURSELF’
“People tend to measure themselves by external accomplishments, but jail allows a person to focus on internal ones; such as honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, generosity and an absence of variety,” Mandela says in one of the many quotations displayed at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. “You learn to look into yourself.”
NELSON AND WINNIE
Nelson Mandela divorced Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 1996, ending a powerful political partnership that had lasted through decades of struggle. As he remained behind bars, she became an activist leader in her own right, leading marches with a fist raised and building a base among the radical wing of the African National Congress. Madikizela-Mandela lost influence as Mandela pushed the ANC along a moderate course.
They had grown apart politically by the time he emerged from prison, and soon the personal toll of the years of physical separation became apparent. But after Mandela retired from public life and focused on the family that had been relegated to second place during his struggle against apartheid, the mother of two of his daughters was welcome alongside his third wife at Christmases and birthdays.
After his retirement from the presidency, Mandela regularly worked from an office in the recently refurbished Johannesburg building that houses the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. The office includes framed photographs of Mandela in healthier times with his wife, Graca Machel, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, fellow activist Walter Sisulu, and others.
A boxing glove, cricket bat and a British police helmet are among the gifts on display. Glass cases show penned messages in books given to Mandela from people including Nadine Gordimer, the South African author and winner of the Nobel literature prize in 1991. Cornel West, an American civil rights activist, addressed his book, “Democracy Matters,” to: “Bro’ Nelson Mandela.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
By Gil Kaufman
'Never think that I'm not from Chicago for one second,' West warned about his treatment by the paparazzi.
Let's get one thing straight. The Kanye West-Jimmy Kimmel feud was real.
When 'Ye appeared on Kimmel's show on Wednesday night to make peace with the late night host, it became clear right away — from Yeezy's posture and his seriousness — that despite some suggestions that their beef was a bit, Kanye was dead serious.
"I wish I had thought of that," Kimmel said of the public fight in his monologue. "I just didn't. You know honestly I've been too busy masterminding the giant prank going on in Washington D.C. right now. That one is going gangbusters."
It also became that the interview was going to turn into the latest Yeezus rant about art, culture, fashion and the celebrity world, and that Kimmel was going to have to sit back and let Kanye be Kanye. At the outset, the duo shared a hug and Kimmel immediately apologized for the misunderstanding, which was sparked several weeks ago when he aired a video spoofing West's hour-long interview on BBC Radio 1.
"I guess we should kind of talk about what happened because I do think that somewhere in you you want people to understand where you're coming from," Kimmel said. "Yeah, correct," 'Ye responded.
Admitting that he'd only seen snippets of the BBC interview before filming the spoof ("Yeah, that's what I thought," 'Ye said), Kimmel re-aired some of his bit. "The main reason that I did that is because I like to see kids curse," Kimmel explained, noting that he was not trying to position Kanye as a child.
And then it was Kanye's turn. "Everyone out there in TV world, real world, whatever world you stay needs to know that I've never done a publicity stunt in my life," Kanye said, debunking rumors that the whole beef was a prank.
Kimmel recounted the "bad" phone conversation they had after the skit and West talked about how the pair had previously met and Kimmel told him that he wanted the world to know the "good guy" side of Kanye.
To be fair, 'Ye did not watch the whole Kimmel skit either, out of fear of being even more enraged, but said he was hurt because he thought he could trust Jimmy. "This is the one person I know, so I can go and let out everything that I feel about every single bogus Weekly cover. Every single bogus skit... Every person who feels it's OK to treat celebrities like zoo animals, or act like what they're saying it not serious ... or their dreams are not serious," West said.
"Egos can flare up and we kind of just took it back to high school a bit," Kanye continued. "And I got beat up a lot in high school, so I didn't want to go back to high school," Kimmel responded, calling the zoo animal a perfect metaphor for the kind of constant tabloid scrutiny celebrities are under.
"Some of these things are hurtful and the truth is important," Kimmel said. "A lot of times I think you bring it on yourself this misunderstanding of you ... I don't know if you know this, a lot of people think you're a jerk," he added as West looked on with a blank expression. To the contrary, Kimmel said he's often told people what a good guy West is, throwing up a picture of a smiling Yeezy with his arm around Jimmy's dad at a wedding they both attended.
And then it got real. Kimmel replayed a classic skit with Josh Groban performing some of 'Ye's funniest tweets, admitting that the BBC bit was maybe a five on the funny scale. He then put up one of the since-deleted post-beef tweets from Kanye in which the rapper profanely compared Kimmel to SpongeBob Squarepants. "Do you really think I look like SpongeBob?" he asked. "I mean, it's the first thing that came to my mind," laughed Kanye.
"As we were writing it there was a frustration that was getting out," West said of the hard-hitting series of tweets railing Kimmel that he subsequently scrubbed from his timeline. "But also they were really funny to me and I just thought it was so amazing that I was saying this in real time, in real life. With my position, because people would be so scared to say anything as soon as you're a celebrity you're not allowed to say anything anymore. But to just completely wild out?" There was a second set of tweets, he revealed, which were apparently even worse, which he'll save for next time.
Kimmel ended by congratulating Kanye on the birth of baby North and gifted him with a pair of tiny leather jogging pants. That led to West, who was wearing ripped jeans and a light blue Ralph Lauren shirt, re-expressing his frustration about not being able to break through in the fashion industry (and bringing up his favorite movie, "The Truman Show," again), despite his "creative genius."
During his extended rant near the end of the chat, in which he touched on taste, culture and art, West noted that he stood up to drug dealers in Chicago and told them he'd die before giving them his publishing, and then took off on the paparazzi and his place in the cultural universe.
"It's about truth, it's bout information, it's about awesomeness ... Taste, culture, art ... just the quality of life. This is what I'm here to do. So when I compare myself to Steve Jobs, or Walt Disney, Howard Hughes, David Stern, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Jesus, I'm saying these are my heroes. These are people that I look up to. This is the type of impact I want to make on the Earth," he said.
"When people hear my music, they have a good time. And I should be respected as such when I walk down the street," West added, getting hyped. "Don't ask me a question about something you saw in the tabloids. Don't try to antagonize me. Because you know what — it's not safe for you in this zoo. Never think that I'm not from Chicago for one second!"
By Lauren Hockenson, Giga Om
Facebook on Thursday announced the final phase of removing an old privacy feature from the social media platform. The feature, which allows users to be hidden from search, will finally be taken away for users who have it enabled.
The feature, called "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" was removed from Privacy settings last year (noted in a December blog post) for those who didn't have it enabled. When enabled, the setting removes the ability for users to access a Timeline profile via search, even when a user puts in the exact name of the person he or she is locating. Now, users that still have that feature enabled will begin to see removal notices from Facebook, indicating that they will be present and visible in Graph Search along with the rest of the Facebook user base.
Facebook says in the blog post that the feature is a vestigial precaution that reaches back before the platform had a sophisticated search algorithm. When Facebook search acted as a mere directory, removing oneself from search made it more difficult for strangers to access a given profile. But now, as Open Graph opens up to search more settings and there is greater visibility of Timelines for friends of friends, the importance of finding a person through search has diminished while controlling the content on any given Timeline has become more important. Facebook says that the feature also caused hiccups in the user experience:
"People told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn't find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn't find each other through search."Of course, the sunsetting of this feature for those who care about it the most only stresses the importance of checking and updating Facebook privacy settings often. Now, it's more important to consider the content of the Timeline itself: a "private Timeline" is only such when content is marked explicitly "Friends Only." As Facebook continues to make search easier, it's important to keep in mind how these changes impact social media privacy at large.
by Chelsey Wilkins in Beauty
Our royal highness, King Beyonce Knowles-Carter, found herself in quite a hairy (heh) situation while on stage during last night’s stop on the Mrs. Carter World Tour. In the middle of her performance for "Halo," Bey's GLORIOUS blonde wavy tendrils were snatched up by a fan! If you’re anything like us, you’re saying to yourself, "Who dare approach the throne to commit such a maleficence!?!" But Beyhive, before you go summoning Jay-Z and the rest of “La Familia” to initiate a manhunt for this audacious audience member, note that the offender was only a stage fan—as in, an inanimate object.
The same stage fan that helps create Bey’s signature hair-blowing-in-the-wind moments turned its back on its fearless leader, leaving her stuck and unable to whip her hair back and forth in true Sasha Fierce fashion. We’re sure audience members refrained from breathing during this frightening ordeal, praying Beyonce’s mane remained intact and unscathed. All the while, Bey continued performing like the boss chick she is, as body guards and concerned stans standing by removed B’s luxurious locks from the metal hands of this unapologetic machine. The show must go on, right?!
Beyonce, aware of the effects of social media and the hundreds of video cameras in the arena, took to Instagram early this morning to make fun of the situation before anyone else could (of course WE’d never poke fun at the Queen!). After uploading an Insta-video of the near disastrous hair experience, she posted a picture with reworked lyrics for her smash hit “Halo”. The remixed version goes something like this:
“Gravity can’t begiiiiiiiin
To pull me out of the fan again.
I felt my hair was yankiiiiiiiin
From the fan that’s always hatiiiiiiiin
Virgin remy & malasiiiiiaaaaaan”
HILARIOUS, right?! She signed her witty note with the message, “I got snatched ‘2 snaps.’ Goodnight all, B.” Well said, Beyonce. Well said.
by James Hibberd
NBC has locked down judges for the next two cycles of The Voice.
Speculation have run rampant as to who will sit in the red swivel chairs this fall and spring, with major media outlets declaring Shakira will exit the series for good after the singer said told reporters she wasn’t planning to return. There have also been rumors that Usher was finished with the show, too.
And it was all partly true. Shakira and Usher won’t be back … in the fall.
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According to sources close to the negotiations, this fall’s edition will reunite the original lineup: Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and, yes, Cee Lo Green. In addition, Carson Daly will return as host for both cycles.
For next spring, cycle 6, The Voice will then switch back to its current lineup, which has made for a surprisingly successful shakeup this season. NBC is finalizing deals with Shakira and Usher, who will take the stage along with Levine and Shelton.
The addition of Shakira and Usher were so popular with fans that some even urged NBC to add the duo full time. But this strategy will help maintain both variety and continuity next season — the judges are all familiar faces, yet not the same faces all season.
Meanwhile Fox’s singing competition panels are still partly in limbo, with American Idol andThe X Factor having multiple gaps in their judges panels. US Weekly reported that Nicki Minaj will depart Idol next season, which would whittle down the current panel from four to two (Mariah Carey and Keith Urban, the latter today saying he wants to stay on the show), with two more exits potentially to come. Factor has executive producer Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato set to return as judges, but also has two other seats to fill. Factor has to find its panel soon since production on season three needs to start before the end of the month.