I am deeply shattered to hear the passing away of a wise hero of Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela. In fact, words are inadequate way of expressing sympathy, but I would like his family, friends and people of South Africa to know how profoundly I feel your pain.
Mr. Mandela was quite exceptionally a global thinker who lived his dreams and devoted himself to what he meant. He was a man of formidable intellect who gained global respect, most loved, and admired by everyone across the globe. Those of us who know him well will miss not only his high degree of intelligence and commitment to human freedom, but also his compassion, love and understanding. Nelson Mandela brought people of the globe together in peace and love. His decisive victory over apartheid made him not only a popular figure of Africa, but also a global icon.
Africa needs many Mandelas to emerge and speak the voice of freedom and peace. One of the greatest personal qualities of Nelson Mandela is that ‘he has a vision of a world in which there would be no indignity.’ To that end, he fought almost all his life until the “Bright Day of Justice” emerged in South Africa. He was not only a successful leader of his time, but also an exemplary model to the present generation of Africa and the generation yet to come.
During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people, he told a judge, during his 1962 trial. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal, which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which he was prepared to die.
Nelson Mandela had a longstanding dream of optimism and a better day in the midst of the nightmare that surrounded him. His solitary confinement in prison for 27 years epitomizes the nightmarish journey he had gone through in the course of liberation struggle. His creative vision, effective use of wisdom language and the integrative negotiation strategy fostered by him not only opened a new chapter in African history, but also enabled South Africa to become part of the democratic world. One of the unique characteristics of Mandela was that he never let the passing events to have power over his presents needs, visions and dreams. This is the core of his success story.
In heroic age societies, the great man is not he who tries to make his voice heard through what we call pervasive relations based on super-ordinate; rather, through natural quality of enlisting or demonstrating heroic actions which characterize all prominent figures and cultured nations of the past and present. In his entire political life, the hero patriot fought for the ideas of popular sovereignty preceding.
In the history of mankind, the patriotic heroes function in the culture as standard-bearers of the values and goals of their nations. For this reason, they have become the national symbols, consecrated with monuments and hagiographic literature. The heroes are champions of man’s noble ambition to go beyond the oppressive limits of human frailty to a fuller and more meaningful life, to win as far as possible the self-sufficient man-hood, which refuses to admit subservience and inequality of the human race. The noble cause Nelson Mandela fought for is part of this living testimony of human quality, which needs to be cherished by the rising generations who work toward the building of a great society having a deep sense of history. Mandela is seen by Africans and world community as a uniter, tolerant, loving, honest, impartial and popular image whose objective is to bring hopes and civil liberty. He emerged as a representative symbol of his time during one of the momentous periods in South African history when the nation was heading for disaster and South Africans faced new challenges of brutal act and hideous racial crimes of different kinds.
Until he departed us for his final resting place, Nelson Mandela paid a great price to bridge racial barriers and abolish anachronistic thinking.’ He faced manifold problems in the process of the rule and conquest in which he unflaggingly protested against the statusquo. The whole scene of outstanding episodic events of his time, his monumental achievements, the way he cherishes belonging together and common good of the people to be liberated, always rise before our eyes and remain with us forever. A great hero of Africa has now departed the free South Africa once-and-for-all, but the heroic spirit he demonstrated, the freedom and peace he planted will continue to shine.
May God Comfort his family and friends!
May his Soul Rest in Peace!
Eshete Gemeda, Ph.D. (Dr.Phil.)
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