Celebrating a legacy - Nelson Mandela

Every one of us in this world will taste death, we will experience sadness, grief and pain at some point of our lives. Some of us will be strong and withstand the loss; some of us will end up worse than others.

A parent having to bury a child is something indescribable for instance, or a daughter/son watching their parent ebb away is terrible when all you want to do is hold on to them. Nothing will ever hit close to home until you are faced with mortality and then time becomes relative.

The only guarantee we have is this moment. This moment for me, is filled with sadness, pride and numbness.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of the nation, has died at the age of 95. A man who overcame insurmountable odds to achieve freedom for all South Africans.

He was a champion for justice, freedom and human dignity. He embodied the principles of love, and I am so proud to have lived through his legacy. His grace was unmatched. To have been incarcerated for 27 years and still come through all this with that smile.

There was no bitterness in him just simply a fire within to achieve democracy for all. Those 27 years was the fuel he used to ignite apartheid, and pave a new path for all of us, and future generations in its ashes. What an example of a man who refused to be conquered.

“We recall the strength of his fist punching the air as he stepped out of prison after 27 years; and his sternness during the negotiations for the freedom of our beloved country.”

Listening to a colleague who had the privilege of meeting him, she said “what a gentleman”. The world has lost an iconic leader, and we as South Africans’ have lost the soul of our nation.

“I cannot pinpoint a moment when I became politicized, when I knew that I would spend my life in the liberation struggle. To be an African in South Africa means that one is politicized from the moment of one’s birth, whether one acknowledges it or not.” - Nelson Mandela.

Mandela definitely leaves such a void amongst global leaders; he leaves us as South Africans, empty, knowing we will never have a leader of this stature and magnanimity ever again. .

We are living history; we are living through the most profound South African history. This is what makes us who we are, this is what we will discuss with our children, grandchildren and they with the future generations of South Africans.

“Let us commit ourselves to strive together – sparing neither strength nor courage – to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. Let us express, each in our own way, the deep gratitude we feel for a life spent in service of the people of this country and in the cause of humanity.” ~ Jacob Zuma

Some of Mandela's most profound quotes :

"Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end."

"Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people."

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
"Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."

"I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days."

You are now at peace Tata Madiba, farewell to you, your long walk to freedom has ended, and you are totally free now.
We salute you for all you have done for us; we can only strive to uphold what you have fought for.
Your example of sheer determination will be an inspiration for all South Africans, and future generations.

Hamba kahle, Tata Madiba.

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