I was in Grade 3 in Zimbabwe in 1985 when I first heard the word "Mandela". We were doing a class drama which demonstrated how bad "Apartheid" was; another word I was hearing for the first time in my life. My class teacher defined it as "separating people" to make it easier for us to understand.
Mandela, was an unusual surname in Zimbabwe that when I got home I asked my mother who Mandela was. In her reply she reminded me that the drama we were acting out was about the things which were happening in South Africa, so Mandela was someone who lived in South Africa. I wished she could say more.
We had just had elections in Zimbabwe, so I wanted her to tell me if it was someone people were voting for in those long queues.
The drama was about how Mandela was helping people who were adversely affected by apartheid. The guy who acted as Mandela carried a book and wrote down people's grievances and assured them that one day all will be well.
From that day, the word "Anti-Apartheid" carried the face of Mandela in my mind until today.
Iwish I could say "Rest in Peace" to him, but it's too late. He is already resting in peace. There's no more peace in the world than the one he is enjoying right now.
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