A Tribute to Nelson Mandela from a Rainbow Nation child’s perspective

Late last night, my brother Mike Whatsapped me and told me to turn on DSTV as President Jacob Zuma was about to address the nation. I jumped out of bed with a churning feeling in my gut knowing that it was the fateful news of Madiba’s passing.

We’ve all been expecting this day to arrive for a while but it doesn’t make it any easier. Today I feel a strong sense of unity with Saffas across the globe paying tribute to this moral giant. It warms my heart to read personal tributes via Facebook statuses, blog posts and tweets of how Nelson Mandela impacts on South Africans in various ways.

Tata Madiba greets the young Rainbow Nation. Dave Caulkin - AP

Tata Madiba greets the young Rainbow Nation. Dave Caulkin – AP

If one image of Madiba could capture his essence, it’s this one.

As a child of the bright Rainbow Nation in the 1990’s, I don’t think I really comprehended how lucky I was to have been living in a post-apartheid South Africa. This is all thanks to Nelson Mandela’s struggle. My parents’ liberal and teaching backgrounds positively influenced our understanding of what Apartheid was and what 1994’s democratic elections meant for our future. As such, Nelson Mandela has been a hero and an icon who will forever inspire us.

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires”
Nelson Mandela (Cape Times 6 Dec 2013)

Despite the hardships and struggles he endured; which very few of us would be able to overcome. Madiba changed the South Africa I was born into. I grew up in a brighter South Africa and I am forever thankful, Tata. I was a child of the Rainbow Nation who grew up in Cape Town amongst equals who have different coloured skin, backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. This has shaped me into the woman I am today and I am forever grateful for that.

Thank you Nelson Mandela for sacrificing so much to make a
brighter South Africa for our nation.

I also hope that this end of an era is a reminder to our current political leaders of what Madiba strived for. Unfortunately, South Africa have lost its way. I hope and pray daily that one day our country can be unified in building a brighter South Africa for all. A nation that Madiba would be proud to admire from above.

Johnny Clegg wrote a song entitled ‘Asimbonanga’ dedicated to Nelson Mandela in 1999 which a perfect audio celebration of Madiba’s life. Warning: it’s a tear-jerker.

Rest in peace, Madiba.

Your legacy will live on in the future generations of school kids who will learn and be inspired by your life’s work.

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