AS IT HAPPENED: 'I believe in Mandela's vision' - Barack Obama at #NelsonMandelaLecture

2018-07-17 17:00

Former US president Barack Obama intermittently painted a grim picture of global events during his address at the annual Nelson Mandela lecture, but has tempered it, saying he still believes in 'Mandela's vision'.

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Last Updated at 16:14
17 Jul 17:13

Sello Hatang is now at the podium to deliver thanks and acknowledgment, and is afterward expected to invite Thandiswa Mazwai onto the stage for a musical tribute. 

After that, according to programme, there will be more musical performances by the likes of the Soweto Gospel Choir, Kirk Whalum, Peter Gabriel, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.


17 Jul 17:07

17 Jul 17:04

17 Jul 17:03

And Obama finally wraps up his well-received address to rapturous applause from the crowd, and a strong embrace from Ramaphosa.

"Thank you very much, South Africa!" 


17 Jul 17:00

Obama directly addresses the young people present, and fires them up with some inspirational words.


17 Jul 16:58

17 Jul 16:58

17 Jul 16:57

17 Jul 16:53

17 Jul 16:52

Obama says people need to start basing their decisions on facts. Makes an example of the Paris accords, in possible reference to current US President Donald Trump. Obama says he can hold meaningful debate with people who base their opinions on facts, but wouldn't know where to begin with people who just make stuff up. 

Continues talking about politicians who lie... and the crowd is well amused.


17 Jul 16:46

17 Jul 16:46

17 Jul 16:42

Obama on Mandela's popularity: "He could've been president for life... am I wrong? Who was gonna run against him?" he asks to the amusement of the crowd.


17 Jul 16:41

17 Jul 16:38

Obama on Mandela's ideologies from 1964: "What was true then, remains true today... basic truths do not change." 

Obama speaks of inclusivity, mentions the French football team that recently won the FIFA World Cup. "Not all of those folks, look like Gauls to me... but they're French! They're French," he chuckles.


17 Jul 16:33

Obama: "The struggle for basic justice is never truly finished..."


17 Jul 16:31

17 Jul 16:30

17 Jul 16:30

"Where was I? I ad-libbed," Obama says as he admits to the crowd that he was going off script, before bringing his thoughts back to "promoting an inclusive capitalism" for the people.


17 Jul 16:27

Obama says he envisions a world where the gap between the poor and the rich is lessened... says we have to build and innovate to get there. These are not new ideas, Obama says, Mandela had similar ideas long ago. 


17 Jul 16:24

Obama: "I don't believe in economic determinism..."


17 Jul 16:23

17 Jul 16:19

Obama: "I believe in Mandela's vision." 


17 Jul 16:18

Obama: "So on Madiba's 100th birthday, we now stand at a crossroads. A moment in time at which two very different visions of humanity's future compete, for the hearts and the minds of citizens around the world. Two different stories, two different narratives, about who we are, and who we should be... how should we respond?"


17 Jul 16:17

17 Jul 16:16

17 Jul 16:16

Obama departs from his thoughts on Madiba for a few moments, and reflects on global events... touches on 9/11, American interference in the Middle East, the growing influence of Russia and China, and also mentions big business and wealthy people funding right-wing political agendas.

Obama: "Strongman politics are ascendant, suddenly..." 


17 Jul 16:09

17 Jul 16:09

17 Jul 16:08

17 Jul 16:07

17 Jul 16:05

Obama says for certain people in the world, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."


17 Jul 16:04

Obama mentions the plight of women, and how they are not paid equally, for equal work. Also touches on violence and abuse against women - "Women are disproportionately victimised."


17 Jul 16:02

17 Jul 16:00

Obama says despite great progress globally in the last few decades, "we also have to recognise all the ways the international order has fallen short"...


17 Jul 16:00

17 Jul 15:59

17 Jul 15:58

Obama is drawing parallels between changing times in history, and Mandela's life.


17 Jul 15:56

17 Jul 15:53

Obama: "Madiba's light shone so brightly, even from that narrow Robben Island cell, that in the late 70s he could inspire a young college student on the other side of the world, to re-examine his own priorities."


17 Jul 15:49

17 Jul 15:48

17 Jul 15:48

Obama on Mandela: "There was no reason to believe that a young black boy at this time in this place could in any way alter history..."


17 Jul 15:46

17 Jul 15:45

17 Jul 15:44

Obama remarks on the "strange times" we're currently living in, and says sometimes it helps to take a step back and reflect.


17 Jul 15:43

17 Jul 15:42

17 Jul 15:42

Obama says he has a confession: "I was not invited to be here... I was ordered in a very nice way by Graca Machel to be here."

Obama also disputes the rumours that he can't dance... though he concedes that Michelle Obama is a slightly better dancer than he his. 


17 Jul 15:38

And Obama is finally welcomed to the stage, much to the delight of the crowd.

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