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Eric Koketso Shikobela
 
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The footprint that changed a nation

06 July 2018, 09:23

Many years ago in Transkei in a small village of Mvezo in Qunu, something strange happened. Not only was it strange but it shook the whole village.

A woman named Nosekeni woke early in the morning to find a giant footprint in her yard. She was shocked to see such a footprint in her yard, it was so great that it even made a big hole where it had stepped.

She screamed in fear, calling to her husband, Mphakanyiswa, to come and see this wonder in their backyard. 

She was so loud that even neighbours came running wondering what was wrong. Everyone was shocked to see this great footprint.

The news of a giant footprint in the Mandela home ran as fast as lightining. The whole village of Mvezo, the neighbouring villages, the provinces, the nation, Africa and the whole world gathered to see this great wonder.

Everyone was astonished by this great sight and everyone had more questions than answers. Who does it belong to? How great is that person? And why a single footprint?

In life, every question has an answer, and every problem a solution. But none of these happen in our own time, but at the best time. 

It's now 100 years later since the footprint was found in Mvezo village. And every question is answered: It was the footprint of Nelson Mandela. The whole world knows today that it was his because the exact date when it was found was 18 July 1918.

Who could have thought that a small village could give birth to a world icon? Someone whose footprint changed our nation for the better and touched the whole world.

Nelson Mandela has left a great footprint in this life, a print of forgiveness, hope for a better South Africa, and love for fellow human beings. He took a long walk to free us from the oppressors and he emphasised several times that his footprint couldn't have been so great if fellow comrades didn't work collectively.

It was a footprint of giants, visionaries and fighters. They all knew that leadership is not a career, but a calling that comes with great responsibilities. Their footprint brought positive change in our nation. A footprint that we as South Africans can choose to step in and follow.

As South Africans we have a responsibility to make a difference in life, in our nation as a whole. We should learn from Mandela, that great things start small and simple, yet they come from a genuine heart full of passion and hope for a better future.

We should implement change from our homes to our communities, then the world will be a better place.

We all have something to offer, even your words of encouragement can help someone. Indeed, nothing is impossible when the heart is willing.

I quote Mandela: "It always seems impossible until it's done."

I believe he never thought his footprint would be so great, he was just trying to make a difference, and he ended up touching and changing the world. 

Let us all unite to make a positive footprint this Mandela day. Let us touch and change lives, one at time, and tomorrow the world will be a better place for all. Let us build a nation the next generation will thank us for, a future full of light and hope. A future we will all be proud of, our little footprints combined will be a great footprint that will match, the footprint of our late president.

Remember that footprints come in pairs, and we need to do our part and put our footprint next to the one in Mvezo, then the mission will be complete. South Africa, my motherland, can do better.

I quote Mahatma Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

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