Madiba, we have lost an icon. I can confidently say that I have not felt this type of sadness in my entire life. An inevitable event that has left a hole in all of our hearts. The respect that you got from the world, without demand, was unparalleled. Your belief that people are not born hating, but rather learn to hate. Your belief in the right to equality, and to fight for that right.
I recently went to see ‘Mandela-A Long Walk to Freedom’, the story of the legend that is Nelson Mandela. Although I was aware of the circumstances that prevailed in South Africa during the Apartheid years, the imagery really hits the spot. Flashbacks to the Sharpeville Massacre, people rioting for a change in the pass laws, ruthlessly and violently gunned down by the Apartheid police. The Soweto Uprising, an absolute blood bath, a symbol of the power of students, Madiba himself, a giant amongst men, a man who, no matter what, was willing to die for the cause. That cause-equality for all!
Facebook statuses are being posted every second, from all over the globe, by locals, ex-pats, entrepreneurs and world leaders. Tweets from football players and celebrities, conveying their sympathy for a Nation. These posts are a testament to the impact that one individual had on the entire world.
Madiba was a symbol of the struggle, and at the same time, a symbol of incredible forgiveness, in the most dire of circumstances. Picture this: being locked up for 27 years, for disobeying an oligarchical government, who ruled with no remorse and with zero tolerance. You are then called on to be the ultimate mediator (partly due to international pressure, and partly local), to reconcile a nation. What would you do? I, for one, would seek revenge. But Madiba did not believe in revenge, but rather embraced the opportunity he had at that time. A chance to rewrite the future, and now history, of this country.
Without getting into the current state of affairs too much, Zuma, I wish I could say this to your face, you are an embarrassment to the nation, and to the late Madiba. You are lucky to have been associated with such a great man, but the Madiba ANC and Zuma ANC are worlds apart. You have had a golden opportunity to build on what Madiba created, but you have failed dismally. You are merely a shadow (if that) of what Madiba was.
Long live Madiba, a visionary who will be sorely missed.
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