The Board of Trustees and the Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing extend their deepest condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela and join with the people of South Africa in celebrating a life dedicated to justice and freedom for all.
Council member Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has said "We are relieved that his suffering is over, but our relief is drowned by our grief."
Vice President of the Caine Prize, Ben Okri, said on Newsnight that “he’s been the great poetic figure of our times in terms of what he represented in terms of freedom, his integrity his beauty of spirit, his love of dance, his sense of humour, his dress style, he championed an African aesthetic. I always think of Mandela as being the representative statesman, not only the African statesman, but the commensurate statesman of our time. He demonstrated more than anyone else how you transfigure the great burden of suffering and expectation in to forgiveness, grace and dignity.”
Patron of the Caine Prize Nadine Gordimer has written about her memories of Mandela, in The New Yorker, saying that he was “not a figure carved in stone but a tall man, of flesh and blood, whose suffering had made him not vengeful but still more human—even toward the people who had created the prison that was apartheid.” Read more here.
Many words will be spoken and written today about one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known. We join the songs sung around the globe in his honour and dance with both joy and pain in his memory. Hamba Kahle Madiba, go well, we will miss you. And above all, thank you.
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