Nelson Mandela Foundation grants Australian author permission to use Nelson Mandela as fictional character. MELBOURNE, Australia – Author and educator Margaret Hepworth has been granted permission to use Nelson Mandela as a key fictional character in her novel Clarity in Time (published by Balboa Press). Her novel is now housed in the Nelson Mandela Foundation's Resource Centre.
The book opens with Nelson Mandela, as a fictional character, talking to his White jailer, Dirk Kortella, in a lonely prison cell in South Africa. Their conversations on life, humankind, God and liberty were confidential since, in an Apartheid state, the consequences of sharing thoughts and philosophy or anything with a Black man would be, for the loyalist, unfathomable.
Thou shalt love. The phrase wafted across the mountain top, swirled gently, once, and settled itself deeply in her conscious and unconscious mind. ‘I think I know what that means,’ Rosie whispered to herself. But she was only halfway there. The rest of the world wasn’t even close. It seems the Ten Commandments have hit the headlines again. Whilst Alain de Botton, founder of the School of Life and modern day philosopher, announced his ‘Ten Commandments for virtuous atheists’, deemed ten worthy concepts relevant to our contemporary world, Margaret Hepworth, author of the powerful and evocative novel, Clarity in Time: A Philosophical and Psychological Journey, has reduced the ten to one: Thou Shalt Love.
Nelson Mandela sits in full-fledged discussion in a barren prison cell - Robben Island 1972. His counterpart, the still youthful Dirk Kortella, his Afrikaner jailer, a product of his system. Mandela speaks of meaning through language, love, humanity and Almost Impossible Thoughts. Kortella listens. Yet this fictional novel, Clarity in Time, isn’t Mandela’s story. Rather it is the story of the ‘interested bystander’ - those among us who read the newspapers over breakfast, stamp our feet at the evening news in the comfort of our lounge-rooms, share these same concerned discussions with our friends and loved ones over our dining room tables, yet don’t know how to move our thoughts into action – beyond the confines of our own four walls.
Permission has been granted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation of South Africa to use Mandela as a fictional character, as well as permission from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to use controversial Captain Paul Watson in a cameo vignette. The de Bono Institute of Australia has allowed Hepworth to reference the theories of creative thinker, Edward de Bono.