ZAM is proud to announce the speaker for the 2nd Nelson Mandela Lecture: Nigerian writer, satirist and lawyer Elnathan John (b. 1982). As a remarkable and dynamic voice, John is a multiple award winning author. His essays and blogs are published by The Guardian, Sunday Trust, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Economist, ZAM Magazine and Chimurenga Chronic amongst others. As an independent thinker and a witty critic of power abuse, oppression and self-aggrandizement, John is feared for his sharpness and admired for his courage and superb writing.
His first novel, Born on a Tuesday, was published in 2015 by Cassava Republic and translated into German and French, followed this year by Be(coming) Nigerian and, very recently, his first comic book in collaboration with Alaba Onajin: On Ajayi Crowther Street. Also in 2019, John was a judge of the Man Booker International Prize for Literature.
The Nelson Mandela Lecture is a ZAM initiative. Patrons Femke Halsema (Major of Amsterdam), Conny Braam (writer, former President of the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement), Adriaan van Dis (writer), Hennah Draaibaar (producer), Marjan Goslings (former judge), Zakes Mda (writer, artist), Mpho Tutu (reverend) and Henk Wals (director of the International Institute for Social History). Nelson Mandela Lecture Ambassador: Boris Dittrich (writer, senator, human rights activist).
The logo of the lecture is with the artist’s permission based on Marlene Dumas’ Portrait of a Young Nelson Mandela.