What did Madiba mean to South Africa?

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...
English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 13 May 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The passing away of Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) was an unparalleled event in the history of South Africa. The end of an era marked by the eventual freedom of its peoples from oppression and violence was influenced to a very great extent by the man known as Madiba. He was a true freedom fighter in the same mould as Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Che Guevara; a beacon of hope for the oppressed and a saviour of the oppressors. Like other great men and women he dedicated his life to others and showed us all there is a way to live together in peace and harmony. Without an enemy there can be no fight; you cannot argue alone.

Robben Island
Robben Island

I looked across Table Bay to Robben Island every day for fifteen years often remembering that he spent twenty plus years looking in the opposite direction from his prison cell plotting the downfall of apartheid and freedom for South Africa. I am sure there must have been many occasions when he could have given up the struggle gracefully but the courage of his convictions must have been so strong that I doubt it ever entered his head. If it did, I suspect, it would have been a short visitation. And by 1994 when he was eventually released from prison he not only had the overwhelming support of the Nation but he had also gained the admiration and trust of his adversaries. History will rank him as one of the great men of all time; a man of immense courage, intelligence, compassion, understanding and humility.

Table Mountain
Table Mountain

Knowing South Africa as I do I am sure there will be myriad celebrations of his life of immense proportions in all corners of the Country. Homes, stadiums, cities and the townships will party till they drop. Madiba will not be forgotten; South Africa will make sure of that.


3 thoughts on “What did Madiba mean to South Africa?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s