Mandela deserves better

The mail delivery centres where you have to pick up the parcels that are too big to be squeezed through the letter slot, are rarely housed in beautiful buildings or located in enticing parts of the city. My local Royal Mail depot in London is no exception. – Actually, I don’t mind the walk to this post office, because on the way I get to pass a Soviet T-34 tank in someone’s backyard.

This area is not particularly more depressive than any other industrial/commercial area of London, but it is also not better:

the Royal Mail delivery centre at Mandela Way in London

What makes the whole affair a bit sad is the name of the street: “Mandela Way”. – A small thoroughfare in a not particularly beautiful part of London that houses a post office, a bus depot and some storage facilities. Please! Couldn’t London find anything better for Nelson Mandela, the hero of South Africa and indeed of Africans across the continent, the first South African President to be democratically elected, the man who so gracefully reached out to his oppressors, and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize?

But it reminds me of something similar in Nürnberg, the closest larger city to my home town of Amberg in Germany. There is a Nelson-Mandela-Platz (“Nelson Mandela Square”) behind the main train station. No, not in front of the train station, behind it. It is mainly used as a parking space:

Nelson-Mandela-Platz in Nürnberg, Germany

Is this a consistent theme in cities around the world that Nelson Mandela is “honoured” with back alleys or decrepit squares being named after him?

I think Mr Mandela deserves better!

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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3 Responses to Mandela deserves better

  1. John Erickson says:

    In the town in Illinois where I grew up, they named a street after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s about 600 feet long, and serves the side parking lot access to the town library and the local junior high school (grades 7-8). There’s also a stretch of a fairly major street named after John F. Kennedy – not the whole street, which runs from about 2 miles outside of downtown Chicago for over 100 miles into the far western suburbs, just a 1/4 mile long part through one suburb. Not exactly the greatest honours, although one of Chicago’s major expressways IS named after JFK.
    You get to walk past a T-34? Wow! I thought I was lucky, when I worked in Springfield (Illinois), to walk past a “classic Ferrari” dealer with a 246 Dino and a 512 Testarossa in the window right next to the sidewalk. I envy you!

  2. Clemens says:

    It seems that there will be at least some improvement in Nuremberg :-)

  3. Pingback: My neighbourhood in London | Publish or Perish – Andreas Moser's Blog

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