As far as I can count, Nelson Mandela has so far been played in the movies by Danny Glover (Mandela), Clarke Peters (Endgame), Dennis Haysbert (Goodbye Bafana), and Sidney Poitier (Mandea and de Klerk). And now comes Morgan Freeman, playing Mandela in a movie called Invictus. What does invictus mean? It sounds like a virus. Turns out it is a poem written by William Ernest Henley in the 19th century. What is Invictus about? Made by Clint Eastwood, it apparently has something to do with how the future of South Africa in 1994 was saved by Mandela and Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar, who is played by Matt Damon. Clint Eastwood can pretty much make whatever movie he wants, which is probably how a movie about politics, rugby and South Africa, with the strangest title this year, is finding its way to the screen. I have my doubts, but I will go see anything with Matt Damon in it. If you didn’t hear the interview he did on South African radio – which totally took him for a ride – listen to it now. This guy has a great sense of humor, and it sounds, at least from the movie’s trailer, that he has the Seffefrican accent down just right.
About Ted Botha
Ted grew up between Washington D.C. and Pretoria. He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and was an editor for Reuters in Manhattan. His books include 'The Girl with the Crooked Nose' and 'Flat/White,' about living in a crazy tenement in Manhattan. His latest book is a true story of murder and movie mayhem in the 1920s that takes place in Johannesburg, London, Paris and New York. Read more at tedbotha.com