Very soon the world will be celebrating former President Nelson Mandela's birthday. This year's celebrations will be clouded by his illness which has confined him to bed for some time now.
The world has joined hands in prayer for his recovery. Such is the love the world is giving Mandela - a return of the love he has so generously given the world. If the world could have its way it could give our Madiba a gift of good health.
Mandela gave his life to the struggle for freedom and democracy in South Africa. For his efforts, the then apartheid regime incarcerated him for 27 years in Robben Island. Mandela became the symbol of the South African struggle for Freedom and Democracy.
Upon his release Mandela led the crusade for reconciliation which spared the country bloodshed. He even paid a courtesy visit Betsy Verwoerd, the widow of former apartheid Prime Minister Hendrik Vervoerd - in the whites-only enclave of Orania nogal. The following quote from Madiba epitomises the good will and love which flows through his veins:
"I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed towards the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lies defeat and death."
This is the magic of Mandela.
He went on to be inaugrated as the first President of democratic South Africa. After a single term he bowed out gracefully satisfied that he had done enough for South Africa and the world.
The Madela Magic will live for as long as humanity lives.