My favourite history teacher, the one who seem to knows a little about everything and the truth about nothing comes, up to me today and asks me if I know Nelson Mandela. It is the fourth time he has asked me this since I started working here.
I am South African, so I “vaguely” recall hearing that name. Maybe it is because every town had a Nelson Mandela Street or a Nelson Mandela Square or a Nelson Mandela Township and sometimes all three. Maybe it is that he was one of your presidents and revered the world over. I’m not sure, but it might just be the same man.
Every time he tells me that Mandela is a GREAT man and every time I ask him what he thinks of F.W. de Klerk, and every time he ask who the hell that is. Seems he still hasn’t heard of the name, even thought I told him three times already.
Don’t ever come to me and tell me that Mandela is a great man if you don’t even know who De Klerk is. That means you just assume Mandela was great but the reality is you don’t know what you are talking about. If there was no De Klerk then there might not have been any Mandela to rule South Africa. Don’t you find it strange that the Great Mandela received a Nobel Piece Prize together with De Klerk for the same thing?
Then the teacher goes in to how Mandela was in prison for 27 years. What everyone seems to forget is that quite a few of those, towards the end, was more like living in a private guest house where you are just not allowed to leave. Call it House Arrest, if ou will. People also seem to forget that he was not the only prisoner on that whole rock we call Robben Island.
This is the same History Teacher who knows only what is needed to prove Dokdo is Korean, despite the text surrounding the prove that DISPROVED your statement. This is also the same History Teacher who says chilies came from China and who needs to point out every single physical trait on me that he finds attractive at least once a month. (He seems to think that Koreans love their fathers and Westerners don’t, because I said I don’t know, or care, if my wrinkles are the same as my father’s, whereas he knows his own, ever single one on his father and now ever single one on me as well.)
Next time he asks “Do you know Mandela?” or “Do you know Dokdo is Korean?” I will just say “Who is that? What is Dokdo? Really? WOW! That CAN’T be true! You are LYING!”
** Don’t get me wrong, I think Mandela is a great man, but his imprisonment has noting to do with my opinion. I don’t even consider the fact that he was engaged in terrorist activities/freedom fighting an issue. I have my reasons because I made a tiny effort to know more than “27 year makes you great.” He has done a lot that does not become a Great Man as well. Feel free to read a bit more about him.