Bono on Tutu and Mandela and the new South Africa, in a special edition of Dazed & Confused.

D&C: You have been to South Africa on several occasions and witnessed how AIDS affects people's lives, which African stories have left the biggest impression on you...

Bono: Two of the most inspiring stories of the last 50 years to have come out of South Africa, one has been well recorded, that's Nelson Mandela. But the second story is the Truth and Reconciliation campaign. Archbishop Tutu has created a model that you could apply to the Middle East, to Northern Island, to Bosnia. It's the most extraordinary thing to see relatives of murdered protestors standing in front of the people who shot their wife and ask them questions like: "Do you remember a woman wearing a green dress, she was waving at the time when you shot her." And then with tears rolling down their face, both of them often, the victims and the perpetrators, and talking. Just to get to the truth, not to get to a result that puts people behind bars.

I think that it is the most extraordinary jump in human consciousness that I've heard about in a very long time. We visited the headquarters of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and we met with Desmond Tutu. So we all walked into the room, just completely honoured to meet him. We were exchanging pleasantries and then he just turned around and said, "Can we bow our heads now please?" We all had to bow our heads and he made this prayer, which just changed the molecular structure of the room and everyone in it, and suddenly we weren't tourists any more; suddenly he was reminding us of what was really going on here.

I asked him a rather stupid question afterwards. I said, "Do you get time with all this work for prayer and meditation yourself?" And he just looked at me, threw a scowl at me, a real rebuke. He just stopped in his tracks and said, "How do you think we would do this if we didn't take time out for prayer?" I was scolded by the great man! And of course he's all laughs normally...'

The special Africa issue of Dazed & Confused is on newstands now, subscription information here.

Read the whole interview here - along with a great interview with Desmond Tutu and another with Bob Geldof -

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