Mr. Soyinka remembers late Mandela for helping his journalism career
Notable Nigerian journalist, Kayode Soyinka, says he will forever remain grateful to the late first black President of South-Africa, Nelson Mandela, for positively contributing to his journalism career and boosting his popularity worldwide.
Mr. Soyinka, publisher Africa Today Magazine, repeatedly betrayed emotion during an interview with PREMIUM TIMES shortly after the demise of Mr. Mandela during which he recalled his encounter with the man popularly called Madiba
The magazine publisher was among journalists who had the golden opportunity to interview Mr. Mandela in 1995 during the preparation for the celebration of Mr. Mandela’s one year anniversary in office as South African number one citizen.
Mr. Soyinka, who was a victim of military oppression during the administration of Ibrahim Babangida and survived a bomb blast, described Mr. Mandela as one of Africa’s greatest sons, a freedom fighter in its truest meaning.
“Personally, I will never forget the honour he granted me to interview him for one hour in his office in Cape Town in 1995 when he was about to mark his first year in office,” Mr. Soyinka said. “That was at a time when the world’s biggest news media wanted a Nelson Mandela interview. He chose me for that honour. That interview gave birth to Africa Today. I will be eternally grateful to the great Madiba. God bless his soul.”
The journalist said Mr. Mandela deserved all the global celebrations he is getting for the leadership he showed in South Africa, which led to the freedom of the South African people from the obnoxious apartheid system.
“Despite all he achieved for South Africa, which endeared him to the rest of Africa and the world and made him an iconic figure, he was most remarkable for his humility which is very rare among African leaders with lesser personal qualities and accomplishments,” Mr. Soyinka said. “Above all, he was an African leader recognised throughout the world for his unimpeachable moral authority.”