As the sun rose over Soweto on South Africa's first democratic election in 1994, the Mwale family were too busy with practical matters to ponder the historical resonance of the day.
Following rumours that a white supremacist group was going to poison the main water tank, they boiled the water and cooked a huge pot of mealies. The day before, during early voting, granny had waited seven hours to cast her ballot for Nelson Mandela and the kids had to bring her food. Now it would be granny's turn to come to the rescue.
Thanks to the credit crunch, the days when people softened the blow by borrowing massively on their homes and credit cards are over. Americans are heading for a huge slump in their standard of living.