This piece is the second part of a reflection on aspects of Nelson Mandela, 1918 – Thursday December 05, 2013. In February 2010, I did, in my “Another View” column in the Post Newspapers of Lusaka, Zambia, two pieces on lessons from Nelson Mandela and the Clint Eastwood “Invictus” movie. The first part came out on Friday, February 12, 2010. The second part came out on Friday, February 19, 2010. The following, with acknowledgement of Post Newspapers for publishing, is the second part:
“Another View Column,” Friday, February 19, 2010, Post Newspapers, Lusaka.
Invictus and Us
Gabriel C Banda
LAST week, we discussed the movie “Invictus,” directed by veteran film maker and actor Clint Eastwood. Using some events at a particular time, Invictus is about moving from apartheid and apartness to inclusion and reconciliation.
Change and growth must start from where we are, our self, and team members who are our friends, fellow workers, and family members. Using events involving President Nelson Mandela around the 1995 rugby world cup, the movie is more than about rugby, apartheid, and South Africa in transition.
It is applicable to many situations. It is about human relations involving individuals and groups. If we open our selves, the movie can speak to us in our own situation. “Invictus” is about the courage and act of forgiveness as a process that is freeing. Forgiveness heals both victim and offender. Forgiveness is not a weakness but a strength. In the movie, Nelson Mandela calls forgiveness a “great weapon.”
“Invictus” is also about realising we have strength within us and are often capable of doing much more. “Invictus” is the title of William Henley’s poem written at the end of the 1800s. “Invictus” is Latin expressing “unconquered,” or “unconquerable.” The last two lines in William Henley’s poem “Invictus” remind us:
“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
Invictus, the movie, is driven by good story, playscript, directing, acting, and production. Morgan Freeman is Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon plays Francois Pienaar, the Springboks rugby team captain.
The movie is well made and a masterpiece I recommend you must experience. It is Clint Eastwood and team’s great gift to the world. Writing in agreement with us from Colorado, USA, are colleagues Andy De Roche and wife Heather. “I … found your wonderful article on the movie Invictus. Heather and I saw it in December and we agree with you completely – it real is a classic.”
And also writing in is our Sister Catherine Musola Kaseketi. Catherine read our column when she was out of Lusaka, travelling to film festivals in Holland and Canada to pick up awards for her screen productions “Suwilanji” and “Unreal Forest.” Of the “Invictus” tale, she says, it is “a great piece.”
Sadly, although one would have thought the movie would show for long, at least to the end of February 2010 when the world is this month celebrating the twenty years of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and the beginning of a new South Africa, “Invictus” has stopped showing at the Lusaka cinema place where many saw it.
One hopes other cinema places will show Invictus and that it will come back to Lusaka. The movie may have been made around the time it was so that it could time in with the twentieth anniversary being observed worldwide.
But the poem “Invictus” is a living one that can still inspire us long after its writing. In full, here is the poem “Invictus:”
By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.