Bono on Tutu and Mandela and the new South Africa, in a special edition of
Dazed & Confused.
D&C: You have been to South Africa on several occasions and witnessed how
AIDS affects people's lives, which African stories have left the biggest
impression on you...
Bono: Two of the most inspiring stories of the last 50 years to have come
out of South Africa, one has been well recorded, that's Nelson Mandela. But
the second story is the Truth and Reconciliation campaign. Archbishop Tutu
has created a model that you could apply to the Middle East, to Northern
Island, to Bosnia. It's the most extraordinary thing to see relatives of
murdered protestors standing in front of the people who shot their wife and
ask them questions like: "Do you remember a woman wearing a green dress, she
was waving at the time when you shot her." And then with tears rolling down
their face, both of them often, the victims and the perpetrators, and
talking. Just to get to the truth, not to get to a result that puts people
I think that it is the most extraordinary jump in human consciousness that
I've heard about in a very long time. We visited the headquarters of the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission and we met with Desmond Tutu. So we all
walked into the room, just completely honoured to meet him. We were
exchanging pleasantries and then he just turned around and said, "Can we bow
our heads now please?" We all had to bow our heads and he made this prayer,
which just changed the molecular structure of the room and everyone in it,
and suddenly we weren't tourists any more; suddenly he was reminding us of
what was really going on here.
I asked him a rather stupid question afterwards. I said, "Do you get time
with all this work for prayer and meditation yourself?" And he just looked
at me, threw a scowl at me, a real rebuke. He just stopped in his tracks and
said, "How do you think we would do this if we didn't take time out for
prayer?" I was scolded by the great man! And of course he's all laughs
The special Africa issue of Dazed & Confused is on newstands now,
subscription information here.
Read the whole interview here - along with a great interview with Desmond
Tutu and another with Bob Geldof - www.fabrica.it