Since the feminist movement, women have openly discussed and debated what it means to be female. This multi-decade dialogue has led to a more nuanced understanding of the complexity of womanhood, and what it means to grow and develop as a multi-faceted woman. A similar dialogue between men about the nuanced intricacies of malehood has been slower to develop.
I once heard a male ballet dancer say they were tired of playing "just" the Prince roles. OK, granted a male dancer needs the acting challenges that a female dancer is accustomed to, but is a ballet Prince really an easy part to fit into? And why do so many audiences feel that only few gents are convincing while donning the tights and bodice required to stand behind a ballerina?
For most South Africans, that long walk to freedom Mandela wrote about is on a much longer, stonier and more dangerous road than they ever expected. And it's taking far more time than their well wishers around the world ever predicted. Considering what's happening to his dream of a new, democratic and rainbow nation, maybe it's best that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela has gone.