The news of Nelson Mandela’s death really pulled at my heart and I felt a lump in my throat. Here was a dignified man, and a South African Anti Apartheid leader who had painstakingly battled for black freedom and equality. This is my tribute to an outstanding figure.
- His belief and optimism that South Africa would be free from prejudice against black people was indestructible. He was a man of magical wisdom. He did not only believe that black people should be free from injustice, but actually had a rather amorous love for his country, which guided his hope for a better future.
- He did not show any anger, bitterness or revenge against his tormentors who held him captive for twenty seven years in the Robben Island Prison, a place detached from humanity and quite symbolic of the isolation he must have felt during his long stay. His strength is always going to be inexhaustibly admired.
- His sincerity led him to achieve most of his goals. His honesty reflected in the intensity of his eyes.
- He was a man of fantastIc personality. He was kind, gentle and enthrallingly generous. He had the right moral code and conduct which I think decorated his whole persona. His humbleness was of the highest regard, wherever he went and whoever he spoke to. You would never see him without a warm smile splashed over his face.
- He was an inspirational speaker and a man who spoke the truth. His words were the type to jot down in your diary. His speeches were not simply of political significance, but it was as if he would encourage certain life lessons that only a refined speaker could give. Some of his noteworthy quotes were:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
As I try to take in the immense loss, I think back at this wonderful person’s achievements. His death marks the start of the memory of a celebrated and magnificent leader.