Celebrating Madiba

ImageI woke up this morning to the news that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela “Madiba” is dead. I didn’t know if I was overwhelmed with sadness like people were or if I was satisfied that he won’t visit the hospital anymore but sure I felt like a great person had left the world and everyone regardless of their country, tribe and religion was in mourning for him.

I hate celebrating death or the great people it takes away and so may be not like many; all I want to do is become as great as Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela or even greater because if everyone in the world could celebrate you in life and death, sure you made a difference.

I had thought over night about what to write about him and so I read about him and I tell you not many know this- but his name Nelson, was never his birth name- it was a name given to him by his teacher “Miss Mdingane” on his first day in school, who felt it was easy to pronounce. His other names include; Madiba (A clan name), Tata (a name given to him as a result of his figure as a father of the nation South Africa), Khulu (meaning great one), Dalibhunga (a name given to him at the age of 16 for his passage into manhood).

He was a legend even before death and would remain one after- his awards include Nobel Peace Prize, Bharat Ratna, Time’s Person of the Year,Sakharov Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal,Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal,Gandhi Peace Prize, Philadelphia Liberty Medal, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, Lenin Peace Prize, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Nishan-e-Pakistan, Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights,Ambassador of Conscience Award,International Simón Bolívar Prize, United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, Order of the Nile, World Citizenship Award, U Thant Peace Award,Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize,Isitwalandwe Medal, Indira Gandhi Award for International Justice and Harmony,Freedom of the City of Aberdeen, Bruno Kreisky Award, UNESCO Peace Prize,Carter–Menil Human Rights Prize, Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, Giuseppe Motta Medal, Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize, J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, W E B DuBois International Medal, Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, Harvard Business School Statesman of the Year Award

Can you beat that? If you ask me, I don’t think we should mourn him, I think we should celebrate him. Here are his quotes…. it may as well motivate you

“A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Go see his movie at the cinema and appreciate him “Long walk to freedom”- A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa; featuring Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Madikizela.

We really can’t mourn him when we know what he has achieved. Go on and make your own achievement. Image

6 thoughts on “Celebrating Madiba

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