Most of use know of someone who was fortunate enough to have met Nelson Mandela and the rest of us who wanted to meet him.
Then there are those who were unaware that they were meeting him and those who met him without expecting to.
And, I who had the opportunity to meet him, but didn't, which I will always regret.
Here are three stories:
1.) Adrian was invited by his father, a manager at a manufacturing plant to meet 'a great man.'
When Madiba arrived, he looked at Adrian and smiled: "Are you the Manager?" he asked, "because I would like to speak to the Manager?"
"No, Sir, I am only ten years old." replied Adrian.
"Well, I must be confused," winked Madiba, "You certainly look like the Manager."
2.) As Adele was frantically editing a deadline article for a magazine, she did not acknowledge, what she described later, 'as the polite, dignified voice' behind her: "I don't want to disturb you, but would you mind if I sat next to you and ask you a few questions when you are ready?"
"That's ok," replied Adele, "but I am very busy. Would it be possible if you came here another time? Just speak to Reception and we can set up a meeting?"
3.) The Shover family during a two week vacation wanted to explore the Union Buildings. Rebecca asked me to join them, which I declined as I had seen the Union Buildings twice before and decided to rather snooze. And, you know what they say about that.
On the Shover's return they all had wraparound smiles and spoke as one.
"We asked the security guards if we could tour inside and they said yes."
"Everything was so quiet and as a joke we asked the lady at the front desk if we could meet Nelson Mandela?"
"You won't believe what happened. You just won't. A little while later he came walking down the passage and invited us into his office."
"We felt paralysed but he made us feel so welcome, saying that he loved meeting people from overseas."
"But, best of all he asked each of us how we were, and he really, really meant it."
"I cannot believe how someone who was jailed for twenty seven years can still be without anger or bitterness. You are all so blessed."
"He also told Rebecca and me to cherish our children." said Ed, her husband, choking up.
At the dinner table, Rebecca said: "There was one thing that worried us though. There didn't seem to be any bodyguards around him. So unlike our President at the White House."
"But, who would want to harm Nelson Mandela?" asked her husband.
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