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Lerammoux
Lerammoux: Madiba Tribute
09H34 TUESDAY, 10 DECEMBER 2013
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nelson mandela 8 inspirational 5.jpg

As translated on Aljazeera Balkan: http://balkans.aljazeera.net/vijesti/madiba-besmrtni-simbol-jednakosti (translated to Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian)


MADIBA : IMMORTAL SYMBOL OF EQUALITY

Utter Mandela’s name anywhere on the globe and watch the faces around you light up. South Africa holds the honour of calling the most beloved man in the world, the father of its vibrant nation.

South Africa is now full of possibility. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela helped to make this happen but he did not do it alone. His comrades, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, to name but a few – fought the struggle that was necessary for young South Africans to be where they are today.

with a cause

Mandela risked everything, even his own family, for the right to be recognized as an equal citizen. Instead of being defined by apartheid, Mandela rose above it and taught generations that followed that they too could rise and soar above pre-set limitations. 

The youth of South Africa now thrive! It is seldom held back by the tenets of yesteryear and can be whatever it chooses to be. Bonang Matheba is a fine example. The 26-year-old media leader is the first native South African woman to make the Forbes List: Most Influential Artist in Africa. She and many others are the by-products of Madiba’s sacrifice.

He created opportunities for artists to express themselves freely without judgment based on colour or creed. Musicians Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba were in exile because of their music. They released freedom songs such as ‘Bring Back Nelson Mandela’ and ‘Soweto Blues’ from abroad in 1987 and returned home shortly after his liberation from prison in 1990.

Following his release, Mandela maintained his stand for equality beside FW De Klerk, the leader of the National Party (NP), the oppressive dispensation of the time. They jointly received their Nobel Peace Prize in December 1993. De Klerk and Mandela (then President of the ANC) had entered into negotiations that gave rise to the first historical democratic elections in 1994.

Despite being elected President of South Africa by the majority, he served only one term in office. Instead of taking the route to dictatorship, as his contemporaries have done, he established his power and allowed others to discover theirs. A true leader does not stand in the way.

South Africa, delinquent child of democracy

It was then up to the Africans in the National Congress (ANC) to take the baton and run the new democracy for the people. Mandela was a man who knew his track and once completed, he receded into the background and watched as his successors engaged in political arm-wrestling for the highest seat in Government. In later years, it became evident that the ANC had shifted its focus from the people.

South Africa has since been on the news under headlines that leave much to be desired by the continent. Stories of political corruption and crime shape the SA image in the minds of those who do not hear the day-to-day bustle of the developing country. This is still a budding democracy, after 19 years we don’t have all the answers and we sometimes struggle to implement key solutions, yet there is a silent master at work: time.

It was, after all, Mandela’s weapon against oppression. South Africa still has a long way to go but akin to Madiba who took one long walk to freedom, we also have to keep taking that next step. For years, he organized protests and built his reserves - all in preparation for the mammoth task of reclaiming for South Africa what is rightfully yours: the freedom to be who you are.

Madiba taught us well. He taught us to love ourselves, as Africans, as Dutch, as Balkans - as people. He extricated the stigma of racial classism, sometimes with militant force, and introduced the banner of hope. Hope that one day, there could be a world at peace with itself and all those who inhabit it.

a lifetime of good

In his lifetime, Mandela played a fundamental role in elevating his people from tyranny, used Rugby to bring all races together, started a Children’s fund and even inspired sensational Hollywood movies. He leaves behind a legacy only an icon of his stature could be proud of. 

We all knew this day would come but none of us thought it would come so soon. South Africa and the rest of the world now mourn the passing of a revered leader. Mandela, the gifted visionary, will continue to be the most beloved man in Africa.

The late and great Madiba lives in us all. It is that immortal urge to do good and that undying need to unite.

Rest in Peace, Ntate wa Sechaba.

_________________________________________________________

Writer: Lerato Mmutle w/a Lerammoux

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