Nelson Mandela in First Year of Presidency Uses Sport to Win a Match Against Apartheid and Cultural Hatred
In the first year of Nelson Mandela’s presidency, South Africa was still torn apart by post-Apartheid problems. The president’s hardest challenge was to turn a previously racist nation into a modern, culturally integrated land. Apartheid was indeed officially over, but not in the hearts of the people. Mandela, while attending a rugby game, noticed that black people cheered for the opposite team because the Springboks used to be an all-white team. At this precise moment, he decided that sport could be integral to eliminating racial prejudice, and persuaded the team to participate to the 1995 Rugby World Cup with a new black and white formation. Invictus, by Clint Eastwood, is a movie about integration, and how sports can unite and inspire a whole Nation.