Brendan Seery
Deputy Editor
3 minute read
25 Oct 2021
6:45 am

‘Madiba, Me and the Waistcoat’ – When nostalgia isn’t so rosy

Brendan Seery

They say you should never meet your idols – for fear you encounter the disappointment of feet-of-clay-mediocrity.

A file picture taken on 28 February 1990 shows Zambia's Kenneth Kaunda, right, and South Africa's Nelson Mandela, left, attending a press conference at the Presidential House in Lusaka. Picture: AFP/Alexander Joe

The great thing about nostalgia – about looking back – is that it invariably is done through rose-tinted spectacles. I remember, from when I was 19 the disco music, brightly coloured lights and shirts... and falling in love. I quite liked making things go bang and riding in helicopters. I can’t seem to remember those bangs which might have killed me, or lying cold, wet and sleepless in a night ambush. I now realise, though, that that particular nasty little southern African war changed nothing. However, I had rather an uncomfortable reminder this week that nostalgia isn’t what it was......