My memories of South Africa and Nelson Mandela

Standing in the rain outside Nelson Mandelas Soweto home, the one where he lived in the years before he went to prison, I was struck by how good Soweto looked compared to the last time I was there in 1992.

The young girl signing the white wall outside the home that had become an unofficial condolence book for those making the pilgrimage wasnt born when Mandela became the countrys first black president and took the oath of office in front of the building in Pretoria that had long been a symbol of apartheid and white oppression, a building where he would later lie in state.

As thousands of Sowetans prepared to make their way to the stadium that would host world leaders and serve