A Personal Interview With the Grandson of Nelson Mandela

Janae Pettit, Kweku Mandela, and me.
Janae Pettit, Kweku Mandela, and me.

In January 2014, I had the INCREDIBLE opportunity to interview Kweku Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela. In the first part of that interview (which I published in February), Kweku talked about the award-winning film, Beyond Right and Wrong, and how his “Granddad” dealt with conflict.

In this video, Kweku shares a personal, touching story of how his Granddad’s presidency affected him in his South African school. I must admit, I got a little teary during this part of the interview. Most of my work has taken me north—to places like Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Russia. As a result, I have a lot of personal connections to those lands.

But I believe this was the first time I had spoken with anyone who had personally experienced the fear, uncertainty, and pain of apartheid. It was a life-changing interview, to be sure.

Here is my favorite quote from Kweku:

“[Nelson Mandela] tried to…set an example—live to the best of his ability and hopefully make the world a better place. But he also realized that there was only so much he could do, you know?…He’s given us this gift. And I think it’s in our hands, ultimately—each and every one of us—to try just a little bit, right? To shine that on our communities.”

Beyond Right & Wrong follows victims of three devastating conflicts—the Rwandan Genocide, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland—as they struggle to forgive without sacrificing their need for justice. This film’s message is a vital part of the growing conversation around justice, reconciliation, and forgiveness between individuals, communities, and nations.

You can watch Beyond Right & Wrong FOR FREE by clicking on this link.



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