Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

I have to admit shedding a few tears when I heard Nelson Mandela had passed away and it’s probably the first time I’ve done that for someone I didn’t personally know. I learnt about Mandela’s life through his recollection of it in his amazing autobiography¬†‘Long Walk to Freedom’. It’s incredible to believe that in his lifetime he went from being considered a second class citizen, unable to travel freely within his own country…to eventually being elected president of South Africa! What impresses me even more, is his character; after being imprisoned for close to 30 years he managed to emerge without any bitterness or resentment…and only through that attitude of forgiveness and reconciliation was it possible to unite a fractured nation. During the 1995 Rugby World Cup, he succeeded in getting the nation to support the Springboks by publicly wearing their jersey which had previously been considered a symbol of apartheid.

 

He was often cheerful and humorous and despite his monumental achievements remained humble until the end. I’m convinced his attitude to life had a big part to play in his longevity. A long and fruitful life to be cherished and celebrated.

May he rest in peace.