You probably know that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is a South African legend fondly called Mkulu (grandfather) who made history and spent almost 27 years in prison fighting against apartheid in South Africa.
But do you also know these facts about the first democratically elected black president of South Africa –

  • He had a cameo appearance in Malcom X, a Spike Lee’s 1992 biopic movie as a school teacher in Soweto where he recites Malcom X’s ‘by any means necessary’. Madiba however refused to say the words ‘By any means necessary’ so as not to be misconstrued by the South African government. Lee had to cut the part and end the film with Malcom X’s footage of the delivery of the part.
  • Queer things named after Mandela. In addition to the numerous educational institutions, edifices, streets that have been named after him worldwide, Mandela has a woodpecker and a nuclear particle named after him. The Physics Institute at Leeds University christened a controversial nuclear particle ‘Mandela particle’ after the legend. Scientists also named a prehistoric woodpecker – Australopicus nelsonmandelai after him. Among other queer things named after him are a sea slug, a spider, tree, flower, racehorse, and a computer game.
  • Madiba was a professional at disguising. Due to his agitation activities, Madiba became a master of disguise in order to evade the authorities hunting him thus his nickname of ‘the black pimpernel’.
  • He loved eating the stomach lining of farm animals. Yes, Mandela was a fan of tripe – animal intestine was his favorite meal!
  • His name remained in the US terror watch until 10 years ago. Along with other members of the African National Congress, Mandela’s name was on the US terrorist watch till 2018 due to their quest for apartheid-free South Africa.

Even in death, Nelson Mandela still speaks.