What can i say about Mandela,a man who like my maternal grandfother whom he shared a first name and year of birth with.
He towers over my child hood memories no matter where i look.
My father had the chance to travel to Botswana and growing up our house has always been filled with the sounds of South African musicians,he had come back from down south with music cassettes.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Paul Simon sounds filled our house.
He thrilled us with stories of Mandela,and for years my grandfather and Mandela looked the same in my eyes.
When the apartheid regime was at its worst in the 90′s i watched street protests on our JVC TV,watched burials of prominent anti apartheid fighters and admired Winnie Mandela ‘s stoic appearance and i was enthralled by this man Mandela.
I was in primary school when Mandela was released from prison,i will never forget watching him and Winnie walk hand in hand with the amandla salute…what joy!!!!
So much so did my curious mind love everything South African ,i had to learn the national anthem Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika .
And when they released the musical Sarafina,well that was the icing on the cake,i knew all the dance moves.
How many times did i read Mandela’s Long walk to Freedom ..countless time and more recently Winnie Mandela’s book A Life.
Yes, Mandela has been a part of my walk in life too.
We can learn a lot from this man who was never afraid of his faults but changed the way we view ourselves as African as well as the way the rest of the world views us.
His long walk to freedom was for all of us as a continent,it carried with it hopes,dreams and aspirations not only for his generation but for generations to come.
The walk is not over…….let us keep walking it like he did,proudly,humbly,stoically,faithfully.
The South African struggle for equality among the races is a story of all of us.