Tribute to Madiba

As South Africa, and indeed the world, awaits
news on Mandela’s now critical condition, I think it is apt to pay homage to a
man who has changed the Nation and impacted the world! Madiba’s contribution
to the lives of all South Africans can never be denied. It’s what makes him a
national icon, whose mortality seems to evoke widespread heartache, whose mere
presence continues to give the country hope.

“If there are dreams of a beautiful
South Africa, there also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads
could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.” Nelson Mandela

I would be doing Madiba a great injustice to even
attempt to put in words the length of his journey, to highlight the pain he’s
endured, to fragment together the great injustices he’s incurred….As
important as those moments are to history, the greatness that is Madiba, is
that having faced all these difficulties, he has still managed to face the
world with forgiveness.

I might not have been part of the struggle, not
been a part of the protests against the Sharpeville massacre, the boycotts, tear gas and fight for equal
rights; being too young to understand the politics of apartheid. I am proud to
say today though, that I’ve been part of witnessing our history, part of the
change. I remember watching as a family, watching as a nation, Mandela’s
release from prison 23yrs ago. I don’t think I understood the full extent of
what was happening that day, but I know that that was a decisive moment of
change…a moment that has changed the outcome of our lives, the outcome of our
country, the outcome of our destinies. For in that moment, it wasn’t just
Madiba that was free, it was all South Africans!!

“Sport has the power to change the
world, to inspire, to unite people in a way that little else can” Nelson Mandela

Part of the change he created, was in securing
South Africa their re-introduction into world sport. The 1992 Cricket World
Cup, hosting and winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the nail biting semi-finals
between England and South Africa in 1996, Olympics, and more recently,  hosting the
Soccer World Cup….these were the moments that made us forget about race,
colour and creed, and stand together as a nation. Moments made possible by
unimaginable sacrifice and struggle. Moments that made us all begin to heal and
move forward. Moments I can share with my children as they learn about their
country’s extraordinary heroes!

At 94 years old, Nelson Mandela will be revered
for his battles, accomplishments and exceptionally high moral standard
throughout his lifetime, having succumbed to arrests, being banned and
imprisoned as part of the freedom struggle. He will always be remembered
endearingly for his humility, empathy and unwavering efforts toward South
African liberation. He will remain our beacon of hope, the Father of our
nation, for through his actions and struggles, lies a better way forward for us
all.

Nelson Mandela has fought social injustice for 67 years… I think the best way to pay tribute to Madiba and honour his memory, is by continuing to strive to achieve what he has given his life for. Nelson Mandela day was started internationally in honour of his sacrifices, in the hopes to bring together people all around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation. The time has come for us to let go, for us to
move on, for us to move forward, for us to instil these values in our youth, so that they can grow to be the heroes of
tomorrow…

 

Long walk to freedom!!



Who can forget this momentous occasion when Madiba stepped out in the number 6  green and gold jersey and made us all proud to be South African.

 
 
Proudly South African
 
 
NAMU:)
 

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