While the world feared that South Africa's revered former president Nelson Mandela did not have long to live, one group of people was not concerned. His political aides know their leader too well and say that there is no way he will be taken from us before he has finished every last item on the 'Bucket List' he drew up in his last year in prison on Robben Island.
'It began as an informal wish list,' recalls Simon Mbangwa, Mandela's long-time right hand man. 'When they cleared out Madiba's cell, they found 'End apartheid', 'Become global icon', 'Win presidency', 'Hand Rugby World Cup to captain of multi-racial Springbok team' and 'Meet the Spice Girls' scratched onto the wall. The Afrikaaner establishment scoffed, but you all know what happened next.'
Mandela's iron determination to do whatever he sets out to do continues sometimes to alarm his family and supporters. Despite withdrawing from public life in his 80s, having arguably achieved more than any of his political contemporaries across the world, he has continued to add ever more improbable targets to the Bucket List every year.
'I was worried for Madiba at first because of his poor health,' said Mbangwa,'but I knew he would pull through after I found a piece of paper at his hospital bedside with 'Outlive Reagan and Thatcher', 'Cause 24/7 global media shitstorm', 'Watch Mumford & Sons headline Glastonbury', 'Pictures of royal baby' and 'See British/Scottish player win Wimbledon' all crossed through in shaky handwriting. When he recovered consciouness, he said Andy Murray was definitely British now.'
The ANC has not yet commented on whether or not Mandela has any further goals to keep him going into another decade. 'All I'll say for now,' added Mbganwa 'is Jerry Dammers - royalties - pay up, now. Oh, and if there are any public-spirited 18-year-old Vietnamese twins out there who fancy a trip to South Africa in the next few months, get in touch. The flights and accommodation are on us. I'm assuming the one about seeing QPR back in the Premiership was a joke, the old rascal.'