MADIBA'S VISION

July is Madiba Month, a 31-day commemoration that includes Tata's birthday on the 18th. Many people have found many ways to celebrate the great man and his legacy. Cape Town decided to honour the humanitarian with a giant pair of "Mandela glasses" on the Sea Point promenade, staring into the distance towards Robben Island.

Thing is, some people thought it was a kinda strange choice. Of all the things Madiba stood for, is he really most famous for his eyewear? Other folks pointed out that he didn't actually wear the kind of frame that now stands on the seafront. He's probably most famous for the teardrop shape he wore on Inauguration Day. Why didn't they put up a giant version of those?

Anyways, it got me thinking about other famous pairs of glasses. I mean, what would you say if I asked you to name the most famous glasses in the world? (Take a moment to think about it before you keep reading... come on... there ya go...)

Would you go with music and choose Buddy Holly's heavy black frames? After all, they're as famous as his timeless tunes. Would you stick with music and choose one of Elton John's many eccentric eye pieces? Or would you say John Lennon's round glasses are the most famous of all? I mean, could you "imagine" a more famous pair? (See what I did there? Imagine... heh, heh...) Speaking of circles, what about the rimless rounds that Steve Jobs always wore? They became as recognisable as the legendary logo that graces all his products.

Just about every pair of glasses worn by Audrey Hepburn became iconic. But which would you pick as the most famous of the famous? Not everybody knows that Marilyn Monroe wore glasses off screen. And she wore them on screen too... remember the short-sighted romantic looking for a husband in How to Marry a Millionaire?

Andy Warhol's glasses. Ray Charles's glasses. Malcolm X. Gloria Steinem. Groucho Marx. SpongeBob SquarePants. What's it gonna be? (Not so easy to choose just one, is it?)

And then there's the matter of a certain pair of glasses auctioned with a few other items... and sold for a whopping $1.8 million. The glasses were bought in London in the 1890s, where they were considered to be the fashion of the time. They later became a symbol not only of their wearer, but of his entire campaign of passive resistance.

Yup, Gandhi's glasses. Kinda funny that so much money was paid for something belonging to a man who didn't care much for material things. So Gandhi gets my vote for Most Famous Glasses. Which ones get yours?

And hey, maybe Madiba didn't wear glasses exactly like the giant ones in Sea Point. But this month, we're celebrating his vision and everything it means.

DON'T CRY! ITS BAD FOR YOUR EYES??
NOT THE END OF THE WORLD; A DIFFERENT VIEW OF IT