Archive for the ‘History Now’ Category

The Nobel prizes

Posted: June 2, 2013 in History Now



By Aubrey Moeketsi


What is the Nobel Prize all about, who is legible to receive this sought after honor?

Well, in a nutshell, the Nobel Prizes is a set of annual international awards bestowed by the Scandinavian committees to outstanding individuals who perform great actions to serve the human race in fields of chemistry, medicine, literature, science, physics, as well as those who work for world peace and justice for all. It is a classy and very formal event held annually every October in Sweden, recipients don’t only get the award but they also get to receive a considerable amount of money(decided by the committee ).
The recipients are called Nobel laureates, and since its inception, a lot of great thinkers and luminaries have received this coveted honor, and of course our very own Bishop desmond Mpilo Tutu is one. He received his Nobel peace prize back in 16/ October/ 1984 / for his “role as a unifying leader-figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa.”

Alright, allow me to digress a bit, for a minute forget about the Nobel Prizes/awards, forget about the classy event, forget about great thinkers & luminaries who deservedly received those honors. Let’s talk about the name behind this whole thing, the man himself, the originator, Alfred Nobel, who was he was, what he did, and his contributions to the world before he passed on.

Alfred Nobel basically is the man who changed “the killing game” on the war front. when it would take a couple 190-something’s machine guns and well positioned soldiers to kill a dozen enemy, Alfred invented the dynamite and the ballistite, which were precursors to quite a lot of military grade explosive devices. Growing up, alfred worked in his fathers factory, which was producing military equipment for war. Weapons produced by his father’s company were used in the Crimean war in 1860.

Although Nobel intended dynamite for constructive purposes such as blasting tunnels and bridge footings, he didn’t hold back when it came to perfecting weapons. Indeed, the closing decade of his life was devoted to advancing weapons technologies, including rockets, cannons and progressive powder (a slow-burning explosive).

The founding of the Nobel Prizes:

two things influenced the founding of the nobel foundation.

1) the death of his brother,and
2) the French news paper article.

After the death of his brother, Ludvig, in 1888, a French newspaper mistakenly thought it had been Alfred Nobel himself who died.  The newspaper published the obituary under the title: “The merchant of death is dead”, going on to state: “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”

When Nobel read this, he began thinking of how to improve his public image after his death and decided on leaving his enormous fortune to fund a set of prizes named after himself.

Altimately, i’m not trying to throw stones at Alfred Nobel’s good legacy, nor am I trying to accentuate his bad legacy, i’m merely trying to show people that sometimes its very much important to know the history of anything before we can “sing up”

I just think that its kinda ironic that the awards are given in the name of a man who dedicated most of his life to developing and inventing deadly military( explosive) technology which will perpetually erode human life.

“Sometimes when the foundation is rotten, it kinda taints any good thing that may come therafter….”

Nobel died of a stroke on December 10, 1896, in San Remo, Italy. After taxes and bequests to individuals, Nobel left 31,225,000 Swedish kronor (equivalent to 250 million U.S. dollars in 2008) to fund the Nobel Prizes.