Former US President Obama was chosen to deliver a moving lecture about the Late Nelson Mandela and his legacy. Here is all the info you need.


The Nelson Mandela Foundation said they chose former US president Barack Obama to deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Lecture because he is passionate about active citizenship.

To honour the centennial of Madiba’s birth, the lecture’s theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World”.

The lecture took place at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Illovo. Barack Obama travelled to South Africa from Kenya.

“This week, I’m travelling to Africa for the first time since I left office – a continent of wonderful diversity, thriving culture, and remarkable stories.

I was proud to visit sub-Saharan Africa more times than any other sitting President, and I’ll return this week to visit Kenya and South Africa. In South Africa, the Obama Foundation will convene 200 extraordinary young leaders from across the continent and I’ll deliver a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. Kenya, of course, is the Obama ancestral home. I visited for the first time when I was in my twenties and I was profoundly influenced by my experiences – a journey I wrote about in my first book, Dreams from My Father.”

Before taking the stage, President Ramaphosa introduced Barack Obama and compared all the traits he shared with our late Tata Madiba. The two share an incredible number of things, all except dancing… The crowd broke into fits of laughter, it was a wonderful moment between the men.

You can read some of the highlights to his lecture below. His speech was filled with moments of laughter, heartfelt memories and important moments of history.

President Obama started by thanking everyone, he then went on to say that he was in fact, a good dancer! He then went on to complain about the chilly weather in Johannesburg and that he had to send someone out to buy him “long-johns”, he didn’t even pack a coat.

Barack Obama spoke of how Mandela inspired him in the 70’s as a young man.

“Madiba’s light shone so brightly … that in the late seventies he could inspire a young college student on the other side of the world to re-examine my own priorities – to reconsider the small role that I might play in bending the arc towards justice.

“And now an entire generation has now grown up in a world that by most measures has gotten steadily freer, healthier, wealthier, less violent and more tolerant during the course of their lifetimes. It should make us hopeful.

“Let me tell you what I believe. I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision, I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King. I believe in justice and in the premise that all of us are created equal.”

He discussed how to this day, race still comes into play in both the USA and South Africa. He spoke of the injustices that women still face around the world.  In his closing, Barack discusses how to use Mandela’s legacy to be better.

He even had a dig at those in the world sitting on millions and not helping out those in need… He had a powerful message for the youth watching.

Obama encouraged the youth to believe in themselves, in their rights and in their ability to control the future of the country.

“Stick to what is true. Stick to what you know is right in your hearts. Ultimately right makes might. Ultimately the better story wins out. My message to you is keep believing. Keep marching. Keep raising your voice. Now is a good time to be fired up.”

The lecture was streamed live on YouTube, if you missed it, you can watch it below. It was streamed in 2D format as well as a 360 option which you can see here.

Sources: Various (Linked Above)
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *