The day has finally come; the great son of the African soil is laid to rest. Everything looks majestic, symbolising the greatness our Madiba stood for.
While the world has contributed to the man he was, I cannot help, but appreciate what he was at home in the heart of the Eastern Cape.
A province left behind and often forgotten and yet continues to birth some of the great men and women we see in our country and in all fields. I wish to remind us that the very same province has produced two presidents, Madiba and Thabo Mbeki and some of the men and women greater in their own rights.
Today the whole world is watching an event unfolding in the soil, it is all glorious. All good things come from the east! In that same province are small villages that are not even on the map of our country, the villages that raised our Madiba to be the man he became, among those is the very Qunu which is now his final home, his resting place. That small village bears witness to the fact that while your background influences you, it does not decide what you will be and the greater heights you can reach.
There has been loud cries about “his” people (Eastern Cape) not being given a chance to see his body, what that meant to me was that we were taking back what is ours from the world. As with all people, you have to go back home. Our son, our own has returned home, ibuyile indodana. The soil will forever be rich. Now as we pass his home, we shall not only beam about his house, but feel honoured that we know he is there.
He has done well, ugqatso ulufezile, umzamo omhle uwuzamile umzukulwana kaMandela. We salute him as he is laid to his final home. He led the world and now the world is sending him off back to his alone moment, that moment that no one can join him in. We loved him dearly, but this is a line we cannot cross no matter how much he meant to us, it is his walk.
We are honoured to have lived in his time and to have called him our president. I am blessed that right in this soil, he lays.
Nawe Mpumakoloni awumncinananga ingakumbi wena Qunu (Eastern Cape you are among great places especially Qunu)! Some of us have known you as our own; we felt no “presence” when we saw you. There was no presence to feel, you were always ours. When people talk about the great presence they felt when they met him, I remember my time. I was just a young girl with a runny nose who didn’t have a clue of the greatness that was in front of me; he was like other old men his age, my grandfather.
It doesn’t get final than this, he is gone from us in the body, but he will now live in our hearts. The book he has written in all the 95 years he had been blessed with is too thick to be read all at once. We will read it for many more years to come.
He lived his life in a manner that counted for something; he ran his race and fought his good fight. It is us on this end to carry on with ours, what shall it be?
I am grateful for his life well lived, I am grateful to the men and women who played a huge role in his life, those of whom we may never know about, the people of those villages including Qunu. Oomama namadoda abancwadzile nabangancwadzanga (the learned and the unlearned), those who understood the part they played and those who didn’t. So many people contributed to the man we have come to love. Mazenethole nto zakuthi, siyabonga! (thank you)
To the great hills of Qunu, wuboneni umsebenzi wenu, siyanqwala (see your great work, we salute you)!
Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela 1918- forever!
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