Posted by Jan den Breejen on October 17, 2000 at 00:59:27:
Nelson Mandela's long walk to freedom (Discovery Channel Documentary, 2000)
In this documentary many people were interviewed who knew him very intimately and the image that arises clearly is that of a Self Confident Style character. Here are some citations from these people:
- going from the country to the big city with the ambition 'to make it'
- 'he was the most DYNAMIC leader in South Africa'
- he is described as a short horizon tactician who didn't see what would be the consequences of his behavior like the burning of his black passport before the camera's
- Winny was the most beautiful girl; but clashes with Nelson because she wouldn't be valued on her beauty
- Nelson was very agressively competitive; he actually threw communist and Indian freedom fighters from the stage at a political rally, also within the ANC Nelson's ambition and competitiveness often got him reprimanded by the leaders
- Energetic allways active: he started boxing as a fitness excercise
- 'He was a show-off, he allways liked to walk naked throught the student appartment; admiring his own body' (said his student friend who felt embarrassed by this exhibitionism)
- 'He took tremendous trouble about his appearance, very much a ladies man….his clothes seemed allways to fit him in a way they didn't fit others, but this was also because of his pride, his ego power'
- 'he was allways a master of imagery, he had a showbizz smile and you never knew what was behind that…he allways looked right…he was very elegantly dressed'
- 'he was extremely ambitious…he was regarded king of the city'
- 'he predicted that he would be the first president of South Africa from early times on'
- 'his narcissistic self confidence caused him to be over-optimistic and over-risktaking: 'he tought it would be an easy walk to power' (dream of building his own guerilla army)
- Sizulu was impresssed by 'his flexibility, his ability to adapt'
- 'the goal justifies the means' attitude; '…he was never a pacifist, he never worried about the loss of lives'
What strikes me with Self Confident Style people is that they need strong and very clearcut OUTSIDE stimuli before things get going into their mind. Only when a black collegue refused to take the obliged tin cup for coffee and took the porcellain one; Nelson was triggered that there was an opportunity that needed to be exploited: the climate had become right for action against the Apartheid. This need for strong stimuli perhaps explains why Self Confident people often take action on things which have a high chance of succes because these idea's can be sold to the masses. I have often found Self Confident people being not interested in things which are briljant or beautiful but lack 'mass marketing' potential.
Sizulu's training and political preparation of Nelson looks much the same as the way Colonel Parker trained Elvis to be succesful. Same dynamics of launching a 'star'.
So the Black Pimpernel's character doesn't fit with todays pop image/icon of Nelson as peacemaking aimiable guy.
Winny Mandela in this documentary is portrayed as clearcut Agressive Style character; a 'strong and assertive' woman who was 'un-teachable' because she wouldn't allow others to tell her what to do; this made her car driving lessons difficult!
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