For the man who spent most of his life fighting for equality and unity, how ironic is it that now, as his life hangs in a balance, people of every race, creed, social standing and culture unite in prayer for him. His life has come full circle. That which he stood for and fought for, has finally come to pass – a world united in their hope, grief and love.
Politics has always been a contentious issue for me. I won’t pretend to understand the complexities of it, neither can I say with confidence that I know exactly what apartheid feels like, because I don’t. Free will, freedom, democracy – sounds like the very basic of human rights, but for a long time, those rights were unattainable and prescriptions were placed on South Africans for what they could and could not do. For the people in my generation and the generations after, we have no concept of the enormity of what that entailed, suffice it to say, we have all heard the horror stories.
Nelson Mandela is more than just a pioneer who fought for equality. He is a man whose life is governed and dictated by a moral compass that could not be steered. His integrity is unwavering, his suffering for his country, immeasurable and his love for humanity…divine. The legacy he has left will long surpass his human life on this earth. His spirit will resonate within us for decades to come.
What does Madiba mean to me? Well, he is more than just a public figure, he is the man who has allowed me to have the power of choice, and for that I will always be grateful, humbled and in awe of the human spirit.
His message to be better and do better and to forgive and love will long stay with me and will be the lessons I will impart to my own children.
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom