Goodbye, Khulu

By admin
06 December 2013

Zelda la Grange, who was Nelson Mandela’s private secretary, pays tribute to the late president.

1702dmknewnew12 BIG

Nelson Mandela inspired people to forgive, to reconcile, to care, to be selfless, to be tolerant, to maintain dignity no matter what the circumstances.

I can attest to each of these because these are the ways in which he changed my life over the past 19 years. I am blessed and honoured by the privilege to have had the opportunity to serve him. I often battled with the relentless pressure.

But then I looked to him who carried himself with such grace and energy. I never left, I never could.

Nelson Mandela did not demand loyalty, but he inspired profound and unwavering loyalty from everybody whose life he touched.

And now, as we grieve the departure of Madiba I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will never see him again.

But heroes never die.

As sad as it makes me that I will never walk into a room again and see his generous infectious smile or hear him say “Oh Zeldina, you are here” I have come to terms with the fact that Madiba’s legacy is not dependent on his presence.

His legacy will not only live on in everything that has been named after him, the books, the images, the movies. It will live on in how we feel when we hear his name, the respect and love, the unity he inspired in us as a country but particularly how we relate to one another.

Madiba will forever be present in my life because he made me into the human being I am today. I will cherish every smile, the pleasant but also the difficult times and especially my barefoot moments.

Thank you for all the wonderful opportunities you afforded me, but most of all thank you for believing in me Khulu, making me a better person, a better South African.

Tot weersiens, Khulu! Will love you every day for the rest of my life.

Zelda picSMALL-Zelda

Zelda la Grange has been blogging for YOU during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. Sheworks with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and does motivational talks. She is also active with projects such as Bikers for Mandela Day and Sisters with Blisters in her role as patron for the 1st for Women Insurance Trust.

Find Love!

Men
Women