Ahmed Kathrada - There Goeth a Man

2017-03-28 05:06

In 1927 Irvin Berlin composed a song. He called it: "The Song is Ended (but the Melody Lingers On)". The song rose to become a masterpiece.

Today around 4 AM Ahmed Kathrada passed on. The song ended but the sweet melody lingers on.

Together with Nelson Mandela Ahmed Kathrada was sentenced to life imprisonment in Robben Island. Ahmed Kathrada spent 26 years and 3 months in prison, 18 of which were on Robben Island. In 1982 together with prisoner friend Nelson Mandela, he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town.

In the philosophical prisms of Paul Ricoeur, no person speaks from nowhere. That means we carry the subconscious baggage of the various psycho-social persuasions that attended our environment and this go on to color all our reality.

Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada (or 'Kathy', as he is popularly known) was born on 21 August 1929 in a small rural South African town, about 200 miles from Johannesburg. At the age of 17 Kathrada participated in the Passive Resistance Campaign.

Ahmed Kathrada with Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton

The virtues of Ahmed Kathrada can be simply stated. His long life was a song and the song's lyrics is Conscience Nurtured by Truth.

Ahmed Kathrada's thrust was to defend the powerless, to hold government accountable and to promote humanistic values.  South Africa meant a lot to him.

"The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny." - Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

Ahmed Kathrada did not keep silent in the face of tyranny. And today when tyranny raised its ugly head he did not keep silent. He joined the forces of Save South Africa campaign to dislodge tyranny. He fought until to the very bitter end of his life. He stood for principles and he was never swayed. He cherished ethical leadership. Sound living, politics with principles and a life of honor and integrity.

“The song is ended, but the melody lingers on…” (Irving Berlin)

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