The past couple of days have contained an event which the world will not forget, and some others which we won’t forget in a hurry either. The closing of the era of Madiba’s lifetime comes with severe weather threats to the part of the family living in UK, and on the home front a long era has taken the first major step of coming to an end for us, too. The Colonialist scene is about to alter, completely and irrevocably.
Anyway, to return to the major event of the day, the passing of Nelson Mandela, my personal feeling has always been that, whatever the provocation, ‘freedom fighters’ who involve ‘soft’ targets rather than striking directly at criminal oppressors are no better than terrorists. My admiration for him has therefore been a qualified one. It can be argued that Mandela’s militancy actually extended the period which elapsed before the inevitable change took effect.
That having been said, there is no denying that he was a great man who had a profound and wonderful influence on the history of the time following independence. It is a source of considerable regret that his partner of so many years let him down so badly, and that he lived long enough to see his successors trashing so much of what he had created.
Only once did I see and hear him personally. The occasion was the graduation of Younger Daughter, at which he had an honorary doctorate conferred on him. I recall that the speech which he read out was even more than usually conventional and boring. For the last part, however, he abandoned or ran out of notes, and it was then that his amazing personality and sense of humour shone through. Somehow sheer charisma can come across far more strongly when a person is there in person than from any media.
I add my thanks to those of the millions of South Africans whose lives have been positively influenced by his. R I P, Madiba.
© Colonialist December 2013 (WordPress)