n Journal of the African Literature Association - Race, decolonization, and global citizenship in South Africa - book review

Volume 13 Number 3
  • ISSN : 2167-4744
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"In his speech on Nelson Mandela’s legacy, Richard Stengel, who ghost-wrote Long Walk to Freedom, recalled Mandela’s most favourite of Aesop’s fables. In my rewriting of the version from the Library of Congress Aesop’s Fables, the story goes as follows: Once upon a time, the sun and the wind had a debate on who was the stronger. While they were disputing, a traveller passed along the road wrapped in a cloak. The sun said: “Let us agree that he is the stronger who can strip that traveler of his cloak.” The wind took the challenge, and right away blasted a cold gust against the traveller. As soon as the traveller felt the cold blast, he wrapped his cloak tightly around him. The harder the wind blew, the tighter he held the cloak to him. The wind grew angrier and blew with greater force, but all its effort was in vain. It was now the turn of the sun. It began to shine. At first its rays were gentle. The traveller was happy; he untied his cloak and let it hang loosely from his shoulders. As the sun’s rays grew warmer and warmer, the man took off his cap and finally pulled off his cloak and “threw himself down in the welcome shade of a tree by the roadside.”

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