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Friday, December 6, 2013


The news has ricocheted around the world of the passing of arguably the greatest dreamer of our times Nelson Mandela, this icon has transcended the boundaries and borders of racial discrimination and equal rights for his countrymen first, and by extension all who had been marginalized by bias and myopic philosophies; amazingly he has done this selflessly for the best part of his life. The name Mandela is indelibly synonymous with freedom, and wailing emotional chants of justice and equality for all; he has imprinted his brand on the hearts and minds of diverse cultures and creeds, sadly like all men, his time has come to an end. History will show that the integrity and determination of this warrior of the people, has channeled into being fundamental changes about the political and social landscape in his native land (South Africa), undoubtedly he has bridged the gap and paved the pathway for a brighter and better destiny for years to come. The mindset and tenacity of this icon took him from the confines of prison for 27 years on Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison for his stand as an activist against the apartheid policies of the Government of South Africa, to the seat of the highest office in the land; (President). In an amazing turn of events of the simplest kind, Mandela, without weapons or any form of physical confrontation, managed to defy the pundits of the day and embarked upon a journey of immense proportions which yielded much fruit. For his sacrificial displays and selfless values, he earned among many the following accolades; The Nobel Peace Prize,Time's Person of the Year,United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, Order of the Nile, World Citizenship Award,Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Gandhi Peace Prize. What a superb resume this great man holds, but beyond that what he alone has managed to accomplish is by far more valuable and endearing than any award he may have received. This hero's personal life has in itself its own level of controversy, one cannot help but remember the departure and then the divorce from ex-wife Winnie Mandela, that apart, the achievements and accolades poured out on his behalf will no doubt be remembered for many a year to come. The essence of his life has been emulated in songs, poems, in movies and books, probably the most famous being the one that he wrote himself; Long Walk To Freedom. I think of the impact of others who can be mentioned in the same breath, the likes of Martin Luther King Jnr., and Mahatma Gandhi, these pioneers of freedom and civil rights cannot be forgotten. The struggles and the sacrifices which decorated their lives, have not been in vain, these fathers of many and leaders of all fought their battles with their hearts and minds, and an unyielding desire with faith to see the respect for life and liberty become the beacon of hope for all mankind. No battlefields were burdened with dead bodies of soldiers as a result of their wars, neither was there any economic depressions because of their agendas, instead they brought to the world in large measures the simple belief that all men were created equal, and everyone deserved a chance to enjoy their freedom of choice and acceptance. I am awesomely inspired by the quotes of inspiration by these giants of men, but for Mandela there are three which stand out for me, they are; "I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” (2) “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” (3) “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Wether you choose to call him father, leader, friend, brother, or madiba as he was affectionately called, in the words of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma "South Africa has lost it's greatest son." Vice President Joe Biden lamented; "the world needs people like Nelson Mandela." Whatever your sentiments may be, this great icon has embedded in our memories the depths and heights of his love and appreciation for life, he dreamt endlessly, and lived fearlessly in the face of tremendous odds, madiba you will never be forgotten. Thanks for the sacrifices and the lessons you have taught us, at 95 you are in body gone, but in spirit therein lies the lasting youth and freshness of your dreams; they live on. The Greatest Dreamer! Nelson Mandela.

  Nelson Mandela inauguration
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