Anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela raises clenched fist, arriving to address mass rally, a few days after his release from jail, 25 February 1990, in the conservative Afrikaaner town of Bloemfontein, where ANC was formed 75 years ago. *File photo
Anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela raises clenched fist, arriving to address mass rally, a few days after his release from jail, 25 February 1990, in the conservative Afrikaaner town of Bloemfontein, where ANC was formed 75 years ago. *File photo

Madiba

The name spoken in reverence about Nelson Mandela.

I write this today from a few perspectives. As a child I grew up hearing about this gentleman Mandela who was locked up in South Africa.

During my childhood I used to go into Mr. Anon’s shop on the corner of Court and Dundonald Streets, “The Peoples Market”, where Zaki’s Bakery is now. Adorned along the walls where numerous pictures of African freedom fighters, Patrice Lumumba, Joma Kenyatta, Abdel Nasser, Marcus Garvey & Madiba.

Mr Anon used to tell us, “Look up to these men they are fighting for freedom of Africans from colonial slave masters.”

In a pre-internet age of the 1970s, there were zero places to Google the words apartheid or Mandela.

Luckily there was a great teacher of mine Mr. Glenn Fubler who was involved with the anti-apartheid movement in Bermuda. He did much to bring awareness of this human blight to our knowledge - much to the chagrin of the powers that be of the time.

He taught us about the struggle that our brothers and sisters were undergoing in South Africa - the Soweto and Sharpville massacres, Steve Biko and numerous other realities of what colonialism and apartheid were really about. I remember clearly when the late Margaret Thatcher and her cronies declared that Mandela was a terrorist.

At that point I knew Mandela was a great man. Mr. Fubler, thank you for teaching us about Madiba.

February 11, 1990 the morning of his release from prison, I was glued in front of my television to ensure I saw the Rise of an African king.

April 27, 1994 , the day of the elections in South Africa, I wept not for South Africa’s liberation, but for the fact it took so long for the world to see that colonialism is evil.

May 10, 1994 when he took his oath of presidency it was a day I will never forget. From prisoner to president. Joseph from the bible.

Today as Madiba passes into the realm of other African kings;

Chaka Zula

Patrice Lamumba

Jomo Kenyatta

Jonas Savimbi

I will not cry nor will I be sad. Nor will I join in any long list of persons speaking warm and fuzzy words of sorrow.

Despite slavery, colonialism and my passport nationality, I am an African. In African culture the spirits live within us and amongst us. We lean on the spirits for guidance and protection daily. So you see the spirit of Mandela dwells within all good people of this world. He truly has imparted his DNA of righteousness, fairness, equality and focus, into billions of persons.

So to truly honour him, we must life by the principles he exemplified.

Madiba has shown us all, that no matter what oppression one faces, stand up for what is right. Stand firm and your oppressors can oppress you no more. Your oppressors will eventually become your brothers and sisters.

Amandla  Awethu

Power to the People