ISSP’s own Advisory Board member Ajume Wingo wrote an eloquent remembrance of and tribute to Nelson Mandela. Here are the first few paragraphs of his article:

As an African from Cameroon I am touched, as are many people from around the world, by the death of Nelson Mandela, popularly known in South Africa as Madiba. What is particularly striking is why so many around the world have been so moved by both Mandela’s life and death.

For many, his greatness lies in his Moses-like role in leading his people from the bondage of apartheid to a state of freedom without the bloodshed and violence that many anticipated would ensue. But this simple single storyline cannot be quite all, since it is clear that the demise of apartheid was the work of many.

Mandela’s unique claim to greatness rests not on his management of the transition out of apartheid and assumption of power — although that is undoubtedly a central part of his legacy. Nor is it really a matter of what he did with that power — although what he did with it was extraordinary.

Read his article at

Ajume Wingo is Associate Professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Values and Social Policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, associate of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University and Fellow at the Africa Institute of South Africa.