Friday, December 6, 2013

A tribute to Nelson Mandela - a fighter against injustice who happened to become President

Today, the world continues to mourn the loss of one of the greatest men to walk the Earth - Nelson Mandela (died 05 December 2013).

The best time to evaluate a man is after his death, as he can no longer make worldly mistakes that may undo his positive image.

As Calvin Coolidge once said, "No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave". This is benefitting for Nelson Mandela. He went through temptations to test his courage, to test his strength of character, hoping to discover his breaking point - his price tag. But, they never succeeded in finding his price. "Every man has a price, but some are far more expensive than others". In Mandela's case, it has been difficult to find his price. As Arch. Bishop Tutu puts it, "he was always perfect". He made mistakes, as he is human, but his impact on people's lives makes his mistakes look like a drop of water in a bucket full.

He stood for what he believed in and fought for it, by any means necessary. At the height of the struggle to dismantle apartheid, he was different things to different people. He was a freedom fighter for some, a rebel for others, and a terrorist for some. However, he did not allow the noise of the market to distract him. He knew what he wanted and constantly reminded himself about his mission - his life's purpose.

Mandela dreamt of equality. However, equality is an elusive dream. There will always be inequality as we are all created different. What we humans should aim for is to reduce the inequality gap. The inequality gap has led us humans into all sorts of problems, manifesting itself in discrimination. Yes, the real crime is DISCRIMINATION. We face discrimination everyday - based on race, gender, social status, nationality, physical abilities and many others.

Mandela, and people like him, has given us hope. They have contributed in their own way to reduce the inequality distance by dismantling the apartheid (racial discrimination). It's now up to us to keep the momentum and address the other inequalities that we face in our daily lives.

Africa as a continent, and we Africans should take this as an opportunity to unite and stop our own discrimination. As a first step, why should Africans need visas to travel in African countries?

Let us not allow the dream to die with the man.

My heartfelt sympathy to the Mandela family and those whose lives he touched and continue to inspire.

May his soul and the souls of those before him who fought against injustice rest in peace.

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