Nelson Mandela, Rest in Power
I have decided to change my life today.
While any day of the year would have been good enough… today is the perfect one and it will be my honor to do so. December 05th marks a special day for me for many reasons.
Today is my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday mom.
Today, three years ago, we laid my father to rest with his funeral. Yes, on my mom’s birthday. You can’t imagine how hard that was for her.
Today, December 05th, 2013 Nelson Mandela… the man. The myth. The legend. Has left this world and graduated to the next level.
Nelson Mandela is the first political figure I ever heard of. He is a man that helped ignite the fire in South Africa.
Who was he? His defiance of white minority rule and incarceration for fighting against segregation focused the world’s attention on apartheid, the legalized racial segregation enforced by the South African government until 1994.
Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years for fighting segregation.
What really fanned the flame and started the revolution? When police shot 69 unarmed black protesters in Sharpeville township as they demonstrated outside a station. This needed to stop.
“My people, Africans, are turning to deliberate acts of violence and of force against the government, in order to persuade the government, in the only language which this government shows by its own behavior that it understands,” Mandela said during a hearing in 1962.
“If there is no dawning of sanity on the part of the government — ultimately, the dispute between the government and my people will finish up by being settled in violence and by force. “
In 1962, after receiving military training in Morrocco and Ethiopia Mandela was arrested for illegally exiting the country and trying to overthrow the government. During his trial he represented himself, and instead of testifying, he opted to give a speech that was more than four hours long, and ended with a defiant statement
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination,” he said. “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.”
World pressure mounted to free Mandela with the imposition of political, economic and sporting sanctions, and the white minority government became more isolated.
In 1988 at age 70, Mandela was hospitalized with tuberculosis, a disease whose effects plagued him until the day he died. He recovered and was sent to a minimum security .
At this prison camp he was allowed more visitors. Among them was South Africa’s president, P.W. Botha.
When Botha’s successor, de Klerk, took over, he pledged to negotiate an end to apartheid.
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” he said at the time.
Four years after his release he became the nation’s first black president.
This man made a change within himself to help the people in South Africa. He left hatred behind. He felt that in order to change the world he needed to change himself.
That’s what I plan on doing. 2014 will be child’s play for me.
I would like to take the opportunity to tell Madiba that I am so grateful for his presence in this world how his action inspired not only an nation, not only a continent, but the entire world. You will never be forgotten because your dream will never die.
Thank you for your life, leadership, and sacrifice.
Rest in Eternal Power Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, Madiba, Tata