Nelson Mandela is universally admired today, but was a controversial figure for much of his life. To reconstruct what that controversy was about, we turn to Bill Keller. He's a New York Times columnist and former executive editor who once covered South Africa and wrote a youth biography of Mandela. He's on the line.
MONTAGNE: Especially at Costco. Will Ferrell's "Anchorman" character is out with an autobiography, which wound up in the non-fiction aisle at a Los Angeles area store. The L.A. Times first noticed the misplacement of "Ron Burgundy: Let Me Off at the Top." This after Costco caused a stir last month when a store displayed the Bible in the fiction section.
We're hearing a song that was popular in South Africa in the 1980s, popular even though it was banned. The song was called "Asimbonanga," which means "We Have Not Seen Him." He was Nelson Mandela, who by then had been in prison for more than two decades. This morning we reached the writer of that song, Johnny Clegg, in South Africa.