Madiba started his life with humble beginnings and raised to world-wide prominence as an icon for all humanity.
He was born in 1918 in rural Eastern Cape.
He went on to become a lawyer in Johannesburg and co-founded the ANC Youth League in 1944.
He went on to serve as President of the ANC from 1991 to 1997 and ultimately became the first democratically elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
In between all of his achievements he still spent 27 years in jail.
Madiba is widely regarded as a freedom fighter, an icon of democracy and social justice. He received more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation, founded by Madiba, is continuing to do good work in serving South Africans in need.
Madiba emphasised reconciliation between the country’s racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Internationally, he acted as mediator in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial and served as secretary-general of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
Despite all these momentous achievements Madiba has remained someone who would continuously give of himself to serve the greater good of humanity and in particular serving the greater good of the country.
The Father of the Nation, as Madiba was affectionately known, has showed what could be possible if you give of yourself for the greater good.
In giving himself to the nation, Madiba could usher in a new dispensation for South Africa.
A South Africa that protects basic human rights, a South Africa that belongs to all who lives in it and a South Africa that works towards being united, democratic, non-racist and non-sexist at all times.
Serving self-interests will only lead to one’s own demise and it won’t contribute towards building a country that Madiba sacrificed so much for. It will definitely neither leave a legacy for future generations. What you sow, you will reap!
It is in helping others that you help yourself become the best you, you can be. It is in helping others that you will learn to value what is important in life and not chase after things that don’t have real, lasting value.
Madiba was a leader who led by example. Political leaders of today must also live their lives in such a manner that will inspire us to become better citizens of our beautiful country.
Politicians cannot be more concerned about the next elections, than being concerned about the well-being of the people who voted for them.
This year we have an opportunity to celebrate the century of Madiba in the best way possible, which is to honour his legacy by living the way Madiba lived and therefore to continue building a better life for all.
Let’s give in order to receive a better South Africa.
Long live the spirit of Madiba, long live!
• Oltman Jacobus Fourie is a City Press reader who lives in Equestria