As the news unfolded on thursday night i tried to think and hope it may just be a hoax but it was not to be. I ignored the tweets and waited for the news to confirm instead as i really did not want to believe that Madiba Mandela was no more. For as far as i can remember i have always associated papa Mandela with greatness,respect and peace. Even as far back as 1990 when i joined in celebration of his release from prison as a 7 year old girl who could not utter a word of english or knew much history still we celebrated and looked up to him as a hero. We saw him as the word peace personified.
As the years went by i began to truly understand Madiba’s accomplishments,what he did and what he went through. We sang ‘free Nelson Mandela’ in assembly countless times and whenever the opportunity came i read his mini autobiographies which in my opinion was rather simplified and romanticised that unless you had other sources of information you would think Robin Island was a theme park. Madiba’s life cannot be sugar coated for here was man who for the first 50 plus decades of his life could not live freely in his own country of birth. A man who was not allowed to vote in his own country and experienced brutality and had 27 years of his life snatched from him and more including his marriage.
When i look at all that Madiba had to endure it amazes me that he always sought peace for all and not just for those who shared his skin tone. I am amazed that he harboured no bitterness towards those who oppressed him as he forgave and moved on. Sir TRevor Mcdonald who was one of the first journalists to interview him after his release from prison note Mr Mandela did not complain once and referred to all that happened to him as ‘in the past’.
When i think about this great man i am just honoured and and cannot help but liken him to Joseph who also was prisoner but God never forgot him just like He never forgot Mr Mandela. Like Joseph who went from being a prisoner to what we could class as a modern day prime minister or deputy prime minister, God promoted Madiba from a prisoner to a president. The one who was once deemed a terrorist became what God had always ordained for him to be from the beginning of time…somebody great. Now if that is not restoration then i do not know what is. Just like Joseph who used his power for good so did Madiba. He really had a chance to seek revenge when he was put in charge instead he continued to campaign for peace and equality for all.
So it is with great respect that i say God bless the family of Mr Mandela and long may his legacy continue.