Mr. Nelson Mandela Tomorrow, the 5th December, will mark a year since our beloved Mr. Nelson Mandela’s death.  For several months prior to his death, he was elderly and frail and incommunicado.  South Africa was forever holding its breath waiting to hear –

Our country and world-wide went into collective mourning – he is still mourned. Along with the mourning, is the wish that we had someone of his stature to lead our country. He stood for all that was good and true and expressed on all occasions his wish for all to live in peace and harmony. He eschewed violence and embraced peace.

The loss of our Father was deeply felt, in the gut. He really was our Father, who guided us with sternness, compassion, forgiveness. He encouraged us to work hard, get educated, be proud of our achievements, help the other, be the change we want to see

 The pain of our loss is still with us … but the pain is valuable in that we feel his absence. But another value of this pain, indirect it may be, is that the longing, the nostalgia, forces us to look at what is, what has become of his legacy. What can we salvage from the tatters and detritus and the dung that is present in our country at this time, all of us edgy, wondering if the abyss looms. And, in all gloominess, personally felt, I wonder if we, and any other country in the world, needs to fully experience the abyss in order for the gold to emerge. Get things broken down, scrambled and turned inside out, so to speak. Let the people speak. Let us talk about our pain. Let us reflect. Let us say no to all that is rotten. Pluck the nugget, from the dung, no matter how small, that emerges. Let another miracle happen – for our beloved country –

He spent 27 years on Robben Island (11km from Cape Town, almost 7 miles, photo below) before his release and thereafter becoming our President in 1994, 20 years ago, when our first democratic election was held. Those years of exile on Robben Island were invaluable to him, he said. He has stated that he saw those years of confinement as necessary for his development as an individual in that he gained a broader vision of his place in the world. He stated in his autobiography, that the only way to make an impact on society and one’s fellow man is to effect a change in one’s self. It is necessary, he said, to let your fellow man know that you pose no threat to him.

Dear God, may tomorrow be honoured, and used as a time for reflection. To bring Mandela back to us, as a light, his name a symbol of a mandala, in our remembering, re-membering. May we somehow find a way to not stop hoping that there are reasons to be hopeful. May his wisdom inspire us once again. May we once more come through this valley of darkness. Our birthing into Mr. Mandela’s dream is proving very long labour. May it not be still born.

 “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.

Nelson Mandela: Defence statement during the Rivonia Trail, 1964

Amandla! Mr. Mandela! Amandla!

20141018_top Table Mountain_resized

Photo from top of Table Mountain. Robben Island off and up on right. Blouberg Strand in distance. October 2014. Taken by me with cell phone.

37 Comments on Mr. Nelson Mandela’s Death One Year On

  1. Hi,
    One of the most poignant statements that Nelson Mandela you have quoted in your article. I quote only a part of it here, “I have fought against both white domination and against black domination.”
    To reach a point in life where you see that it is not about color; that life is about a vision and a purpose that supersede the color, nationality. and the language of that you speak. It is about brotherhood, sisterhood, and the fact that we are committed to respecting the human worth of each other.
    Thanks for a beautiful article that I enjoyed reading.


    • Thank you so much Patricia … just this afternoon Mike was driving us back to Plett after collecting my brother from the airport, brother Christopher was in the front, I was in the back. Mike and he were having a talk, I couldn’t hear very much .. but I heard Christopher say that respect is what we all need to have for each other. I didn’t chime in on the conversation as it was clearly between the two of them … and now that I’m home and catching up on e mails etc I receive yours in response to mine … Thank you …

  2. Nice post. Ya, I sometimes think of Nelson Mandela. He was probably one of the handful of politicians that were loved by many and stood for (and maintained) ideals. Was really nice having someone like that to look up to as a beacon. These days I don’t really have any heroes in government, black, white or any colour. Maybe we’ll all get clued up and realise we don’t want or need a group of brick-heads making corrupt decisions on behalf of us.

    • Thanks Mike for commenting. Perhaps we could be our own hero/ine to ourselves, and not need that ‘parental’ oftentimes missing father figure and know that we can stand on own feet and march to own drum beat. But many societies are still too fractured. Mandela certainly was an inspirational beacon.
      Thank you.

  3. Oh Susan, what a superb post! The world so TRULY needs more people of Mr. Mandela’s mindset and character. Thank you for the lovely tribute to him! Well done.

  4. Thank you Sis for this – I needed to read it from a point of view that was different to all the events and speeches that went on in this country in honour of the Great Man, as I truly felt it was just lip service – there is so much going on in our country, and indeed – all over the world, where man wants to dominate man, take as much as he can, particularly if he is in a powerful position. So, from my heart, thank you.
    With love

    • Thank you dear Sis for commenting. I too have heard people on the radio today while out and about in my car .. mostly white noise really though some heart felt comments, eg Graca Machel his beloved wife who cared so tenderly for him and said how it is up to all of us to pull together …hers is a powerful voice and I hope to hear more from her. She is still in mourning as she said. George Bizos who defended him at his trial spoke movingly too.

    • Thank you Gillian. Freedom .. with all it’s attendant responsibilities. Think we’re prepared for them? I hope so. Gardens need tending elsewise they become full of weeds ..

  5. Mandela’s death is mourned on the other side of the world too. Because of recent instances of racial injustice here in the States, I have been prompted to write a blog post next week that echoes what others are saying about man’s inhumanity to man.

    Isn’t this an ideal we all hope for? – “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities.” Thanks for commemorating a great man.

    • Thank you Marian. I’ll be listening in on radio during the day to hear what people say and hopefully we’ll be re-inspired!

      I’m looking forward to your post next week on our inhumanity …we followed the Michael Brown story here in SA and some of the follow on commentaries in the press made me want to weep.

      Have a great weekend!

  6. Lovely and thoughtful tribute, Susan. I fear for our human community each time we lose one of these gentle giants whose legacy might be lost in the immediacy of today’s events and fleeting nature of our incessant practice of deeming everyone “heroes”.

    • Thanks for coming by Sammy D .. you’ve nailed it I think in saying that the legacy of giants may be lost in the immediacy of the events of the day …

      Today is the anniversary, I am up very early this morning, will be having my cup of tea shortly, and will listen to the news, and listen in to what people say. Hopefully, we’ll be re-inspired all over again!

  7. I deeply sympathize with your thoughts and feelings. I admire you for writing about what is important to the entire world.

    There are consolations that individuals and large groups are working productively to overcome social and political problems around the world, in AFRICA , in USA, for The JEWISH PEOPLE, and more. In South Africa, I can think of AfricanLiberty. org that sets world-standards for the world to become a better place.

    We hope for the possibility that technology and education and moral commitment will be increasingly effective across this planet. Not too long from now, a quantum improvement in our affairs will attack poverty so that more people might be reached through education and re-training. I am especially happy right now that cost of petroleum has gone down so drastically, and the Mid-East oil-producing countries will have less power to do evil and to expand to new countries.

    • Joseph, thank you so much for commenting. There are so many organisations and individuals doing their bit for the improvement of others’ lives in their own countries or further afield. It is consoling indeed… I’ll check out, thank you.

      May that quantum moment happen soon – imagine if education, through the use of the smart technology we have and the willingness of all, teacher and student, helps bring about eradication of poverty, eradication of violence.

      We also welcome the reduction of petrol costs.

  8. Hi Susan .. such a great post and yes when Mandela finally went … it was so sad. I sincerely hope the candle of hope can be relit and let us all love one another, rather than want to climb to the top of the human tree and stamp on everyone.

    I love Mandela’s Defence Statement – the part you have printed here for us … We need some new leaders to step forward, join together and not split us all asunder …

    Wonderful post – and yes I was shocked at the news a year ago … relieved too that it had finally come … those last years I can equate to in some ways … thank you – Hilary

    • Thank you so much Hilary. Candle of hope … candles and lamps were out last night as there was load shedding (power cuts) at 6.00 p.m. for 5 hours! So, maybe there is something in lighting candles …

      It’s early this Friday morning … I’m going to be listening to the news shortly (with a cuppa) and it will be interesting to hear how we all look back ..

  9. Dear Susan;
    Thank you for the reminder of such a momentous event as the death and life of Nelson Mandela. As you note he was a man of the world and we still fight the domination. His words and life surely exemplify to all of us what can be done…

    • Susan, thank you so much.

      Dr. Ian Player died a few days ago, another giant on our landscape, in his love for wildlife and the irreplaceable energy he expended in trying to save the rhino. He spoke from and to the heart for the need to preserve mother nature for the sake of mother nature herself and as well for our souls. His death is a great loss. My hope is that we continue his legacy.

    • Yes, it is disturbing Philippa! We also experience police brutality, often black on black. Too often white on black and black on white. White on white too if I think of domestic violence inter alia … let alone soul violence in terms of corruption and much else.

      Thank you for coming by … I much appreciate this.

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