The three blue-gum trees under which Nelson Mandela learned to be a leader still stand at the Mqhekezweni Great Place near Qunu, formerly the seat of kings of the abaThembu tribe in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province.
Prudence Moime looks up from stirring a pot of corn meal in front of her two-room shanty in northeastern South Africa and gazes across the surrounding rocky hillside. Just beyond her view lie some of the world’s best platinum deposits.
On his way to the toilet at his school in South Africa’s Soweto township, Simphiwe Bhengu passes broken chairs and piles of dumped textbooks. He steps through puddles of putrid water and skirts prowling rats before returning to a class of 40.
Nelson Mandela emerged from 27 years in apartheid jails in 1990 pledging to seize South Africa’s mines and banks. Four years later, his government slashed spending and courted foreign investors, paving the way for the longest period of growth in the country’s history.