thabo mbeki

Thabo Mbeki earns ‘cool points’ for old Spice Girls photo op

Published by Andile Sicetsha

South Africa’s former president Thabo Mbeki is back on top of search trends for reasons way cooler than his heartwarming and impassioned I Am An African poem.

Old Thabo Mbeki photo with Spice Girls surfaces

A Twitter user stumbled on an old picture of the 78-year-old, taken in November 1997, wedged between UK’s Prince Harry and the Spice Girls.

xA bit more context on what you’re seeing

We dug deep into Associated Press‘ archives to find out how in ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ Mbeki found himself wiggled between the flirtatious Spice Girls. Here goes:

In 1997, UK’s iconic girl group was on a charity tour in South Africa, and tailing them, were royal monarchs Prince Charles and young Harry.

This was two months after the tragic death of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana and to honour her wish for her son to see Africa, Charles took the 13-year-old on a tri-nation tour with South Africa as the last stop.

As respected dignatories, Charles, young Harry and the Spice Girls had to honour former president Nelson Mandela with a visit, an official occasion that brought the world’s media out.

In the midst of all the buzz in the corridors of Mandela’s Presidential House, Mbeki was pulled into a photo-op by the cheerful girl group.

The girls also got an opportunity to crash a historic photo session between Mandela and Prince Charles, leaving Madiba blushing with their affectionate flirting.

“I don’t want to be emotional but this is one of the greatest moments of my life,” Mandela exclaimed in cheer.

The British royal visit was another move in strengthening the UK’s longstanding cooperative partnership with post-apartheid South Africa.