Incvictus / Playing the Enemy - by John Carlin: Review Extracts If Playing the Enemy were not so well written, it would deserve a place among the. The inspiration for the film INVICTUS, starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman. Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament- the true. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Carlin offers the final dramatic chapters of how Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation - Kindle edition by John Carlin. Download it once and read it on your Kindle.
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British journalist John Carlin is the author of Knowing Mandela and Playing the Enemy, which became the Clint Eastwood film Invictus with Morgan Freeman. Mandela) and Matt Damon (as Francois Pienaar). Invictus is based on John Carlin's book, Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game. Review: Playing the enemy by John CarlinSouth Africa's victory in the Rugby World Cup final was the defining moment for the birth of a.
Mandela saw an opportunity and used it. In prison, he studied Afrikaner history and learnt Afrikaans, which he used to speak to his guards. Having discovered their almost sacred passion for rugby, he did his sporting homework too.
He charmed not merely his warders but a steady stream of apartheid bureaucrats and politicians who came to his cell, once the liberation struggle had made the country ungovernable without him. Rugby thus became part of the intricate choreography of symbolic victories and concessions that made up the dance of South Africa's political transition.
Against the backdrop of steady progress towards a one-person one-vote democratic state, the ANC offered white South Africa the resumption of international rugby in The first game of the new order, against New Zealand, turned into a cauldron of Afrikaner pride - the old South African flag was unfurled and 'Die Stem', the old anthem, was sung with gusto.
However, rather than punish rugby and its social base, Mandela continued to court them. As Carlin argues, it was this mixture of astute politics and humane charm that carried the nation through its first successful democratic elections in But nation-building requires more than a constitution, more even than the new flag and the adoption of the liberation song 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' alongside 'Die Stem' as a two-part national anthem.
It requires moments of collective ecstasy, and that is what the final of Rugby World Cup offered. Mandela, against the grain of his own constituency, went out of his way to wear a Springboks cap, appeared at the final in the team shirt and at every stage argued that the Boks were now the whole nation's team.
Carlin movingly describes how the Springboks came to learn and sing 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' and how the crowd at the final, overwhelmingly Afrikaners, sang 'Nel-son, Nel-son'. South Africa won in extra time, the nation celebrated and the rest, as they say, is history.
Then I made out the words. This crowd of white people, of Afrikaners, as one man, as one nation, they were chanting, 'Nel-son! The big rugby man's eyes filled with tears as he struggled to find the words to fit the moment.
It was. It was the moment I realised that there really was a chance this country could work. This man was showing that he could forgive, totally, and now they - white South Africa, rugby white South Africa - they showed in that response to him that they too wanted to give back, and that was how they did it, chanting, 'Nelson!
It was fairytale stuff!
It was Sir Galahad: News Corp journalist Carly Adno reflects on her experiences in the presence of the late Nelson Mandela.
Rory Steyn, one of the members of Mandela's presidential bodyguard, also had a front-row seat. He had been deployed as head of security for the All Blacks, which meant he was down on the field with them, by their bench. We share in your elation, they were saying; we forgive you for the past.
With forgiveness came atonement. That was also what the cries of "Nelson! In paying homage to the man whose prison sentence had been a metaphor for the bondage of black South Africa, they were acknowledging their sin, uncorking their bottled-up guilt.
No one captured the sea change that Mandela had effected better than Tokyo Sexwale, who had spent thirteen years on Robben Island convicted of terrorism and conspiracy to overthrow the government; who out of prison had become the assassinated Chris Hani's closest friend; who as premier of Gauteng previously Transvaal Province had become one of the half dozen most prominent figures in the ANC. And there it was.
He had been desperate to rise to the occasion, to set an example, not to let Mandela down. He had. But when the time came, when the two teams lined up on the side of the pitch before the game and the band struck up the first strains of "Nkosi Sikelele," he couldn't open his mouth.
I'd just crumble, right there. I was so emotional," the Springbok captain said, "that I wanted to cry.
Sean Fitzpatrick the All Black captain told me later that he looked over and saw a tear roll down my cheek. But that was nothing compared to what I was feeling inside.
It was such a proud moment in my life and I stood there and the whole stadium was reverberating. And it was just too much.
I tried to find my fiancee, to focus on her, but I couldn't find her. So I just bit my lip. In other countries, including our own, skeptics doubt that this kind of brotherhood can be engineered, even for a moment.
It can be.
It was. You have been very courageous, saying things which many journalists would never say. The articles that you wrote about the Third Force. Man, that was good, that was good — courageous. I mean for a journalist to write articles like that, I'm telling you: You made a tremendous impression.
It's difficult for me to forget the roles that have been played by somebody, especially where a person, you know, reflects unprecedented bravery. For a white journalist in this country to write those articles: