Thank You Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. But Mandela will never die. The ideas, ideals, values and beliefs of this great man remain with us and for the rest of humanity, for as long as we exist, Mandela will exist within us.

20 years ago the world was singing “Free Nelson Mandela” and today the world will sing “Thank you Nelson Mandela”. The world will sing about Mandela, the world will sing of his life, the crowds will remember, the young will learn.

But how can one write about Mandela, the man? We read comic books of superheroes with supernatural powers – but how do you write about Madiba, Black, African, Man, Human, Hero.

“But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
None of the superheroes that we praise have ever come close to obtaining the power of will that Nelson Mandela had. What a man! More than man. What a Captain he was. He led people to a better place. What a leader. Inspired millions around the world.

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.

“But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

– Nelson Mandela in 1964 after the three-hour defence speech at his trial.

The strength in his words, the absolute clarity of his thoughts and a most impartial spirit are a few reasons that made Nelson Mandela one of the most beloved figures of all times. His work for equality between people, between races, between humans – will never be forgotten. His actions, his peaceful ideas, everything he ever did – and everything he ever did but ensured the world knew he didn’t do alone. Him along with other troublemakers like himself and Steve Biko inspired – and continue to inspire.

I only ever knew you from history books Tata. I read about you as a teen, I watched your interviews, I watched the movies. No part of history has ever moved me as much as the story of South Africa – is there any greater story you can tell me? Nelson Mandela your actions have inspired me years after they happened, they showed me passion and compassion, you showed me character, you showed me real strength, no muscles, no guns, but peace and value, and hope, hope – hope! Many will list everything you ever did, I don’t want to do this, I wish I could have said that in person but that’s the best I can do now, so thank you.

Thank you for the inspiration, thank you for everything. Thank you Rolihlahla.

My condolences to his family, the people of South Africa, and the whole world that loved him.