A Tribute to Mr Nelson Mandela

283684_10151721194916844_575082104_nThe world mourns the death, but celebrates the legacy of iconic
liberator, Mandela

When a human being gives out his goodness, forgo the luxuries of life,
dispels the act of vengeance, tolerates even those who oppressed him,
use the bitter past as an impetus to unify the human race and
advocates for the justice and equality of all regardless of creed,
colour, religion and affiliation, then the person is an extraordinary
being who must be surely treasured and copied.

This is typically true of anti-apartheid hero and champion of freedom
and justice, Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president who
had endured 27 solid years behind bars in his long walk to freedom.

News of Mandela’s death at age 95 shocked the entire universe, for a
man who was looked up to as one of humanity’s greatest assets of our
time was snatched away by the cold hands of death. From the Northern,
Eastern, Southern and Western Hemisphere, the news of Madiba’s death
was received with grief and enormous sadness, causing millions of
people to weep and grieve over his passing. His exceptional qualities
and rare humanistic characters, his selfless sacrifice, service, and
generous nature, are all what have come to define him as world’s most
truly trusted and respected human being of our time. From China to the
United States, Africa, to the Caribbean and Europe to the Pacific,
Mandela’s death was announced in all major television channels and
radio stations as well as printed in newspapers of all kinds,
highlighting his flawless legacy.

The incident that has and continues to dominate the social media since
Thursday when news of the passing of a towering politician was broke
in a somber televised address by the current South African president,
Jacob Zuma, has been highlighting Mandela’s sterling legacy. A broad
spectrum of people – celebrities, politicians, venerable religious
scholars, past and current leaders, journalists, activists of all
kinds, scholars, students, the elderly and even the kindergartens have
all been taking to the social media not only to express their
condolences, but to write beautiful commentaries showcasing the rare
accomplishment and self actualisation that will be hard for any human
being to attain all at any given time in his or her life.

The United States President Barrack Obama described him as a man who
“belongs to the ages.”
"Today he's gone home and we've lost one of the most influential,
courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share
time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the
ages. Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his
own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa
and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president
embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for
the better,” Obama said of the late icon.

nelson mandela ripA very touching comment also came from His Eminence and a long time
friend Desmond Tutu, who hailed his moral courage when he wrote; “He
embodied what he proclaimed — he walked the talk. He invited his
former jailer to attend his presidential inauguration as a VIP guest,
and he invited the man who led the state’s case against him at the
Rivonia Trial, calling for the imposition of the death penalty, to
lunch at the presidency. Instead of calling for his pound of flesh, he
proclaimed the message of forgiveness and reconciliation, inspiring
others by his example to extraordinary acts of nobility of spirit. Who
will forget the electrifying moment in the 1995 rugby World Cup final
when he stepped out on the Ellis Park pitch with Captain Francois
Pienaar’s No 6 on the Springbok jersey he was wearing? It was a
gesture that did more for nation building and reconciliation than any
number of preacher’s sermons or politician’s speeches.”

But even whereas millions were weeping and continue to weep even as I
pen down this piece, there has been celebrations in his native country
about his life, premised on the fact that he truly lived and
accomplished his goals – liberate South Africa, spread the message of
peace and reconciliation, shape the human race, give hope to the
hopeless, embodied freedom, justice and equality etc. Madiba was truly
an icon who had lived his life for the people and unified a highly
divided nation where white minority oppressed its black majority for
years with absolute impunity. His tenacity, moral courage, honesty,
patriotism and democratic nature made him stood tall among leaders and
politicians both past and present. The void he left will be certainly
difficult if not impossible to fill for he was a man who got it all.
He lived as a universal hero who was unanimously acknowledged as the
most respected man of all times. Madiba is a true reflection of a
saint whose legacy will continue to shape human race for generations
yet unborn.

But as preparations take place in South Africa for a state funeral
where a lot of world leaders including President Barrack Obama and
other prominent personalities are expected to attend, the
multi-million dollar questions that have even before the death of
Mandela been lingering in my mind and perhaps in the minds of others
are: What can the world learn from his exemplary legacy ? How many
more leaders or politicians are ready to live and die for the ideals
Madiba had championed? How many of us have the tenacity to stand firm
like he did and speak against global inequality and injustice? I guess
we may not really have in one person at any particular time that can
actual get the answers to all these questions.

The world has got to a point where there are gross inequalities in
every facet of our endeavours, leaving the poor, the oppressed, the
marginalised, the discriminated, the minority and the powerless to
bear the greatest brunt; whilst  others walk away every minute with
glaring impunity. The world must definitely take cue from Madiba’s
legacy, for this planet to be a better place for mankind. Madiba has
been praised by the most powerful leaders of all kinds on the planet.
But if truly they have been inspired by the legacy of this illustrious
son of the universe, then one can begin to think that there will be
even more hope after his passing. If these praising leaders or people
in position of influence now act on the ideals he had lived and died
for, then the long-fought-goal of global justice and equality will not
be a far-fetched dream.

If for anything, this somber period should embolden our resolve and
strengthen us in terms of tenacity to do just as Mandela did in the
long walk to eternal peace, freedom, justice and equality for all in
this planet we call the earth.

Whilst this essay serves as a tribute to a man who has inspired
countless number of people of all race, it is also written to motivate
all and sundry to take cue from him so that this world can be a better
place to live.

REST IN PEACE ROLIHLAHLA NELSON MANDELA
Hatabfadera

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