Tribute to Mandela by a Nobody: My Never Again!

2013-12-07 10:42

Tribute to Mandela by a Nobody: My Never Again!

God has a great sense of humor: inside the reconciliation month and many other human rights imperatives, He decides to allow for the passing of one of the world-renowned reconciliation icons. This leaves us South Africans with no choice but to reconcile, not only for the advancement of Mandela’s legacy, but also for the transformation of our beautiful nation.

I recently encountered a beautiful definition and function of social cohesion and the concept of nation building by the South African Department of Arts and Culture:

“The department defines social cohesion as the degree of social integration and inclusion in communities and society at large, and the extent to which mutual solidarity finds expression among individuals and communities. In terms of this definition, a community or society is cohesive to the extent that the inequalities, exclusions and disparities based on ethnicity, gender, class, nationality, age, disability or any other distinctions which engender divisions distrust and conflict are reduced and/or eliminated in a planned and sustained manner. This, with community members and citizens as active participants, working together for the attainment of shared goals, designed and agreed upon to improve the living conditions for all.”

On the other hand, the department defines nation-building as a “process whereby a society with diverse origins, histories, languages, cultures and religions come together within the boundaries of a sovereign state with a unified constitutional and legal dispensation, a national public education system, an integrated national economy, shared symbols and values, as equals, to work towards eradicating the divisions and injustices of the past; to foster unity; and promote a countrywide conscious sense of being proudly South African, committed to the country and open to the continent and the world.”

These definitions are packed with functional imperatives for the transformation of this beautiful land, and they contextualise any efforts designed to bring the best out of South Africa. It is an opportune time for all us to set into motion or rather starts exhibiting the very principles that Mandela lived and was willing die for. It is an opportune time for the re-making of our nation for the betterment of all.

The definitions resonate deeply with Madiba’s inaugural address in 1994:

"Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another…"

"We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world."

These powerful and moving words pursued me to renew my commitment; my own never again ideals and covenant with the self:

• Never again shall I stand on the sideline of the efforts designed to see the eradication of social injustice.

• Never again shall I participate in any thing that is against the law of the land.

• Never again shall I lead a life that does not appreciate the needs of others.

• Never again shall l allow the judgment of the other on the basis of their skin colour, but their humanity.

I vow once again to lead a life that reconciles societal disparities not just because of Madiba’s passing, but because it is the right thing to do.

What is your never again?

In the spirit of tribute to Madiba, I propose that we put up profile pictures that are representative of our demographics. In other words, if you have a photo of you with someone of different racial group put it up to show others that we live inside of one of the most diverse countries in the world and we interact with others.

Here is my video-tribute to Tata Mandela:   THE RE-MAKING OF A NATION


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

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