Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela
To us South Africans, he was our freedom, a great leader, a hero and he was Tata (father) to our rainbow nation.
A little brief history on the LEADER South Africans mourn:
Nelson Mandela was an activist against apartheid in South Africa. The term, apartheid means the government says that it is ok to discriminate any race other than White people. In 1963, the South African government found Mandela guilty of sabotage. He was imprisoned for 27 years. .
Whilst in Prison, Mandela’s reputation expanded and flourished in Countries across the world. He remained disciplined in prison trying to exercise and study daily. In the mid 1980s the Apartheid regime tried to make some compromises with the ANC and Mandela. He was offered conditional freedom several times but he refused it. The pressure for his release became so intense that when he was released in 1990, it was symbolic of the beginning of the end of racial injustice.
April 1994 saw the first fair and multi-cultured elections in South Africa. With the ANC winning 65% of the vote, Mandela became the first dark-skinned president representing a new South Africa.
This was a breakthrough not only for South Africa but the world as a whole. Everyone admired his self-depreciating and forgiving attitude towards those who imprisoned him. He treated everyone as an equal and this was something that many people had not experiences before. The new approach is one that can be used by all leaders. It is important not to have favorites or to discriminate people. Mandela was tolerant and aimed to build bridges instead of holding grudges from the past; this contributed to his global appeal. He wanted to change the world for the better and his success makes him one of the great leaders of today.
The most prominent characteristics of Nelson Mandela are strength of spirit, integrity, honor, and leadership. Mandela’s strength of spirit allowed him to endure 27 years of imprisonment. He never compromised his beliefs, which shows integrity and a willingness never to give up the fight
As an honorable citizen of the world, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his help in ending apartheid in South Africa. Finally, he became President of South Africa in 1994 showing his incredible ability to lead a nation once so divided.
“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness. Nelson Mandela “
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
The pain is not experience on the day we miss our loved ones, but in the memories they have created. My heartfelt, condolences, to my fellow South Africans and the Mandela family.