Friday, 6 December 2013


“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.” - Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who was imprisoned and then became a politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative election.
His government focussed on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the world’s most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years. He had rarely been seen in public since officially retiring in 2004. He made his last public appearance in 2010, at the football World Cup in South Africa. Mandela had been receiving intensive medical care at home for a lung infection after spending three months in hospital.
Mandela was an inspiration not only for the people of South Africa but for everyone around the world who believed in race equality, freedom and fair treatment of all people. His life was a shining example of how a single individual can change the course of history and positively affect the lives of millions. A sad day for the world, but also a day for celebrating his many achievements.
Many South Africans, who love Nelson Mandela like a father, say that their grief was tinged with uncertainty, and some fear over what their future holds without him.

Vale, Nelson Mandela


  1. The irony of all of South Africa always thinking Mandela was a saintly hero is breathtakingly. The old regime thought he was a dangerous criminal, to be locked away in hideous conditions, presumably till he died in gaol. Back breaking labour and almost no contact with his beloved wife and family. They didn't charge him with "demonstrating without a permit", for goodness sake; they found him guilty of treason. How quickly people forget how badly Mandela was treated!

    All my South African friends were truly heartbroken yesterday when the news was on the radio.. and so was I. I just wish the tributes would acknowledge that this fine life was largely wasted, at least until 1990.