dead ♪ ♪ this is the road to ruin and we're starting at the end say yeah yeah let's be alone together ♪ ♪ we could stay young forever scream it from the top of your lungs ♪ ♪ say yeah yeah let's be alone together we could stay young forever we'll stay young young ♪ ♪ young young young oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh ♪ ♪ oh oh oh oh oh oh my heart is like a stallion they love it more when it's broke in ♪ ♪ do you wanna feel beautiful do you wanna yeah i'm outside the door ♪ ♪ invite me in so we can go back and play pretend i'm on deck
yeah ♪ ♪ i'm up next tonight i'm high as a private jet yeah yeah ♪ ♪ let's be alone together we could stay young forever scream it from the top of your lungs ♪ ♪ say yeah yeah let's be alone together we could stay young forever we'll stay young ♪ ♪ young young young young i don't know where you're going but do you got room ♪ ♪ for one more troubled soul i don't know where i'm going but i don't think i'm coming home ♪ ♪ and i said i'll check in tomorrow oh oh oh oh oh oh if i don't wake up dead ♪ ♪ this is the road to ruin and we started at the end ♪
tonight on "nightline" -- for the ages. from nelson mandela's epic struggle to his long walk to freedom. "nightline" was there every step of the way. >> tonight, nelson mandela. >> tonight the freedom fighter you may not know. >> you were a good boxer? >> well, i do not know, that is the hardest to say. >> i am -- >> leading man. what do ebri alba, morgan freeman, danny glover, and sydney portier have in common? they all played nelson mandela on the big screen. >> and this boy's courageous journey inspired nelson mandela,
and enkozi johnson, packed arenas and captured a nation's heart with his simple message. >> we are all the same. >> announcer: keep it rig i want you to be kind.ff i want you to be smart. super smart. i want one thing in a doctor. i want you to be handsome. i want you to be awesome. i don't want you to look at the chart before you say hi...david. i want you to return my emails.
i want you to keep me doing this for another sixty years. at kaiser permanente, we want you to choose the doctor that's right for you. find your perfect match at kp.org and thrive. good evening. thank you for joining us. tonight, we bring you a different kind of story about nelson mandela who died yesterday at 95. it is already saturday morning in south africa, and overnight his flag-draped coffin began its journey back to his ancestral home to be buried. but long before he became a global father figure, when mandela was locked for decades in a prison cell, a loan l lone voice, protesting brutal racial policies. this broadcast made a commitment to cover his struggle when few
others were. "nightline" has been there every step of the way on his long walk to freedom. here's abc's john donvan with our story. >> in the epic that is the story of nelson mandela as south africa, a small but important chapter happened to have been played by an american news program. ♪ this one, "nightline." on a february afternoon in 1990, tv stations everywhere across the globe really, everywhere, held this single live totally uninteresting shot on and off for close to an hour. because everyone was waiting, finally to see this. this distant figure. nelson mandela. a man who not been photographed in nearly three decades. finally walking free from prison. waiting there to nlts strinterv ted koppel. we told me, so was everyone else to interview nelson mandela. no one had an appointment.
>> everyone rented a house across the street from winnie mandela's home in soweto, and there we were with our binoculars, sitting there. he is here yement. he isn't here yet. which one of us will be invited to come over and do the interview? dan rather was over there. in fact i know dan well. dan beat me. he was there first. i was there second. >> this is abc news "nightline," reporting from south africa. >> second maybe. >> tonight we have only one s s guest. nelson mandela. >> first to come to earth on the broadcast, the opening question went not to politics race or the future but to sports. >> he was surprised the other night with tyson? >> yes, very much surprised. i took it for granted that he would win. >> so did he. >> you went right to the boxing question. >> i did. >> what was your plan? >> i want to hit him with a question he really wasn't expecting. >> did you ever think of turning
pro, turning professionally? >> no, never did. >> you were a good boxer? >> well i do not know. that its for others to say. >> nelson mandela was never an easy man to loosen up. >> long enough aago. >> did mandela loosen in the interview? a little. not really. even talking basics like the prison food. >> live on it in the morning. for lunch, and millis pop. >> a millis ground and cooked. >> like porridge? >> yes. like porridge. and they cook it in prison. very bad in those days. the preparation of the food left very much to be desired.
>> in that, mandela, maintained a rectitude in language, gesture and posture that set him at a distance. >> your time with him was rather formal. >> nelson mandela was not some one who was going to be my buddy. and he wasn't going to let me be his buddy. >> yet mandela in subsequent years, rarely perhaps, never said no. when ted invited him to be on "nightline." that willingness, ted is certain, stems from a history making week of "nightline" in south africa in the 1980s. >> south africa is changing. >> we said we will only do this series of programs, we will only come to south africa if members of the white government agree to engage in dialogue on the air. >> which never happened on their own television? >> which never hap fepened on tr
own television if you dialogue with black leaders. we had an owe skaccasion with t south african foreign minister appeared live on television in the united states with then bishop desmond tutu. >> it was an extraordinary moment. >> did you think it was possible? >> if -- degradation, and dehumanizing. then i will stand against apartheid. >> it was rebroadcast the next day in south africa. on the south african broadcasting company. and the impact was huge. absolutely enormous. >> it all happened when mandela was at that point in his 23rd year of imprisonment. ted says in an important way. >> mandela was there. mandela was in every exchange.
we could not have done what we did in south africa had it not been for -- for mandela. >> in what way? >> in the sense that mandela exerted such moral suasion. >> the shows the also made a connection. the door with mandela was opponenten for y efor you becau week you did. >> he heard and knew what we had done. >> thed had a moment with mandea years later at a town meeting in the united states. >> i interrupted him and was going to say something else. and then he -- i thought was going to jump in and say something. so, i paused. and he said something like -- i don't know if i -- >> largely african-american crowd, at the town meeting, loved it. you know, here is the white
anchor getting it right in the chops from the man himself. it was a great moment for him, for them, and not as the great for me. >> now a great story to tell. >> yeah. >> no they were not buddies. but for maybe a brief moment. they were both part of the story. something journalists are supposed to try not to be but some times it cannot be helped. >> we don't get the opportunity very often to really make a difference. i think our programs in south africa made a difference. ♪ and of course, our coverage of nelson mandela's life and enduring legacy continues. up next for us, mandela's epic story, often portrayed on the silver screen. the secrets of playing the legend from the men who know.
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nelson mandela's life played out like a motion picture. born into royalty, a revolutionary who endured 27 years in prison, triumphing over injustice to lead his nation out of the dark chapter of apartheid. his charisma, humility and generosity of spirit are nothing short of legendary. so what does it take to portray a legend onscreen? here is abc's chris connolly. >> we don't have rights. we don't have justice!
>> trust hollywood to recognize a true story of heroism when it sees one. and to do it again and again. >> in the life of every nation -- when there are two choices. submit. or night! >> reporter: with nelson mandela portrayed by idris elba, brings mandela to full hero ii iic sta. >> we talk about responsibility. that's -- that avenue one 's on things i had to pay attention to. we were to go ahead and make that as real as possible on the screen. >> as he schlepplept in mandela cell, he pondered how a man of intelligence and physical power may emerge with strengthened capacity for leadership and
forgiveness. >> i spent a night, i needed context, perspective. you and i would never know what it is to not have freedom until it is taken away. in the morning i was angry, man, the injustice. mandela spent 19 years in that one room. >> it is mandela's struggle and the extra ordinary individual who d victorious from it, that led hollywood to address mandela's storien so may ein so. >> hollywood embraced nelson man dell lash mandela, the sacrifices, where he was able to take the country out of prison. a rare story. very dramatic. personally so, many people in hollywood felt, drawn to him. >> each approach mandela as if they're playing somebody, a star in his own right. they bring all their own strengths to it. >> sydney poitier, in mandela and de klerk.
no watch would be comfortable in a country dominated. >> in more than 300 years. you have been dominated. >> 24s, dennis haysworth. >> in good-bye, focusing on mandela's relationship with his white jailer. >> you and i could live peacefully. >> terrence howard onscreen alongside jennifer hudson in "winnie mandela." >> morgan freeman. >> this is the time to build our nation in clint eastwood's invictus. showing a mandela in office. >> i would look to thank you for what you have done for our country. >> mr. president, thank you for what you have done for our country. >> reporter: looking to foster national unity through sport. >> you look at pictures of of a young mandela. he is a beautiful man.
at some point in every one of the movies, with the rare exception, you can see the actor, sort of unluge teash the mandela smile. because he had this great smile. when they say that happens in so many mandela performances, the am begs ambition of the actor to meet the challenge. >> i am angry! you are angry! but you must show loyalty. >> see the fire in the eyes. fire in the belly. ♪ ♪ free free free nelson mandela ♪ >> reporter: when mandela was in jail it was pop music responding to burgeoning protests and news coverage of apartheid. ♪ ♪ organized and fronted by bruce
springsteen, steven vansant. artists recorded sun city in 1985 to support the boycott of south africa. years afterwards, after he won freedom for himself and his nation, the burdens of office were lightened for mandela by the occasional presence of entertainers. for michael jackson -- for the spice girls. >> this town which understands star culture, how did they see nelson mandela? >> he was the ultimate star? he is -- a hero, he is a flesh and blood hero, alive in our time. >> the entire entertainment community saw in him, a man they yearned to i've de eed to i'ved. >> you are saying to get your picture taken with nelson mandela was the ultimate tribute
for a hollywood producer? >> definitely. meant your heart, spirit and conscience was in the right place. >> even in a resolutely ironic age. man dem la's life, a hollywood touch stone. never massive at the box office. yet compelling. a hero for and of his time. that so many seem to chronicle and celebrate. ♪ free nelson mandela i'm chris conley for "nightline" in los angeles. our thanks to chris conley. next, nelson man dem la inspired billions. how did this little boy inspire him? when we come back. the first had lots of coverage. the second, only a little. but the third was... just right! bear: hi! yeah, we love visitors. that's why we moved to a secluded house in the middle of the wilderness. just the right coverage at just the right price. coverage checker from progressive.
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ravaged his country. one of his most powerful allies in helping change public perception, a 12-year-old boy. abc's david muir has the story. >> nelson mandela was the man who inspired the world. that this was the little boy who inspired nelson mandela. more than a decade ago we first began following the story of this little boy, the south african boy, born with hiv. >> i wish i was well like everybody else in south african. i wish this aids disease can go away. >> he lost his mother to aids. at a time when south africa was unwilling to talk about the disease, enkozi bravely stood for the world. >> we are given things. we can walk. we can talk. [ applause ] we are just like everyone else. we are all the same. thank you.
>> that woman giving the thumbs up is the woman who would adopt him. gail johnson. the two of them together would start a shoestring shelter with mothers and their children with aids. they called it enkozi's haven. >> a small house. and mother whose are hiv, they are dying. >> it was a year after that we lost enkozi. not long ago we traveled back to south africa to check on his adoptive mother and what she showed us. >> this is the baby daycare center. >> a sprawling village she continued to build in honor of her son. >> i will constantly reminded that kids need help. i constantly do it. we got a whole lot of liftle enkozis. >> gail is working and takes care of more than 60, mothers and children, fighting hiv one of the children, tabiso.
>> gail loves me so much. >> she loves you so much. >> i love her so much. >> you love her. >> tabiso doesn't have hiv, but his mother does. this is where they stay. this is like a home? feels like home? >> yes. >> reporter: the 17 cottages, library, clinic. at the end of the tour we met his mother. >> this is my mother. >> told us she was struggling to survive when she got here that the medication gail provided had brought her back. [ indiscernible ] >> wouldn't beep here. and her children wouldn't beep with me. >> the whole time, gail was there listening. we asked what she made of it. >> an extended family. >> nelson mandela said your son was an icon. >> he was, yep. totally. i'm any soap sorry he never saw this. yeah, i think we would be quite proud. >> i'm