'Long live Mandela-ism'

2012-07-18 14:04
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Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela’s legacy should live further than schools, clinics, and even the 67 years he spent in active struggle for freedom, it was said on Wednesday, on his 94th birthday, at his home village of Qunu.

Speaking at a colloquium at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and academic Xolela Mangcu said Mandela’s legacy is contained in his ideas, which played a role in the political and economic emancipation of black South Africans.

Thus his ideals, beliefs, and selfless struggle should not only be preserved through archives, but also disseminated to all spheres of society, they added.

Both also said archives were meant to inspire, provoke, and bring hope to the downtrodden, while bringing no comfort to autocrats, despots, and authoritarians.

“All these archival steps for them not to be buried under sand dunes must become living artifacts and documents for a global call to action and pointers to a better world and better future for all mankind,” said Sexwale, who is also chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

He added that Mandela Day – an internationally recognised day – is an initiative of the NMF, whose mission, “as directed by Mandela himself”, is the preservation of his legacy.

“Indeed, he is a living global archive whose philosophy can be summarised in one word, Mandela-ism: the spirit of selflessness, sacrifice, people’s soldier, prisoner, president, freedom fighter, philanthropist, dedicated democrat, scholar, lawyer, revolutionary, visionary, reconciler, unifier, nationalist and internationalist. Long live Mandela-ism.”

Addressing the colloquium, which is in its second day, Mangcu suggested that Madiba be seen as not just a man, but the embodiment of an idea, and that this should become curriculum in higher learning.

“If we are to preserve the legacy of Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe, and all others who matter, we must find a way to institutionalise these legacies where we teach our children ... It would be about remembering him and protecting his legacy from ourselves,” he said.

Celebrations to commemorate the former statesman’s date of birth were held in Qunu and Mvezo, where he was born.

The museum has organised a number of activities this week to mark Mandela Day.

The colloquium was jointly organised by the museum and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and brought together experts, academics, scholars, and government leaders.

Sexwale also urged the collective to, in its special resolutions, echo the African Union Summit condemnation of northern Mali rebels who are occupying Mali.

Read more on:    mandela day  |  nelson mandela  |  tokyo sexwale  |  xolela mangcu
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