Nelson Mandela aka Madiba has passed over to the other side yesterday. A sad moment that will be remembered, but also a moment that I realize that I feel fortunate to have known the life of this remarkable person who changed himself, changed a nation and took history in his own hands. I don’t think I know anybody that has been loved by people as much as he was. He became one of the few icons in history that people will keep honoring and learn from in years to come.
Today is a day for me to get back into history by reading articles and reactions online. I was 12 when Mandela was released from prison. I didn’t understand yet the importance of that moment, but I knew it was a special one. I knew this was a good step against ‘apartheid’ (which I learnt at school and from my parents). What I even remembered the most were the songs that came out at in the 80’s to free Mandela. I loved them! Do you still remember them?
Here are a few:
In the next video Johnny Clegg plays a song that he wrote in 1986. Now (1999) he plays it as a tribute to Mandela. He comes on stage and says – Music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world.
Or the songs that were made after he was released:
I still cannot get over the fact how remarkable it is that one person can touch so many lives around the world without meeting them in person. When I feel what Mandela means to me, he feels like one of my grandfathers: someone who will give me good advise and has all the wisdom in the world due to life experience. Yes Madiba you will be missed but I believe that your light is not out and that you will still be shining down on us. And I do hope that people and especialy world leaders that admire you will truly listen, look and learn how you peacefully fought for the Rainbow Nation, and that they will walk in your footsteps by using the same mindset.
Here is a piece out of a great article (written by Mark Gevisser for the Mail&Guardian) about the life of Madiba:
Mandela epitomised those instincts we most associate with childhood: trust, goodness, optimism; an ability to vanquish the night’s demons with the knowledge that the sun will rise in the morning. But he also made us feel good, and warm, and safe, because he found a way to play an ideal father, beyond the confines of his biological family or even his national one. He was the father we would all have wanted if we could have designed one. He was wise with age, benignly powerful, comfortingly irascible, stern when we needed containing, breathtakingly courageous, affirming when we needed praise – and, of course, possessed of the two childlike qualities that make for the best of fathers: an exhilarating playfulness and a bottomless capacity to forgive.
Mandela is often paired with MK Gandhi. Unlike the godly Indian liberator, however, he was an unapologetic (even if delightfully self-deprecating) patriarch. A leader’s claim that his subjects are his children can be the very definition of tyranny, but what made Mandela so singular a leader of modern times is the way he re-appropriated such clichés. He inhabited his paternity in such a way that it seemed fresh and emancipatory even as it comforted in the way it recalled more traditional understandings of what a leader should be.
The rest of the article you can read by clicking here.
Some legendary moments on video:
Remember the movie Invictus? If you want to skip the beginning, go to 5:43,