Happy Birthday Mr. Nelson Mandela!
Mr. Mandela spent 67 years making the world a better place. Today, we are urged to spend 67 minutes doing a ‘good deed’, whether donating books and educational materials, blankets, food, money, picking up litter, planting a food garden in a school, visiting the invisibles in hospitals or whatever else we can do.
Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of his birthday on 18 July, 2009 via unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly. Mr. Mandela said he would be ‘honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation’.
We feel such shock and sadness for the passengers of the Malaysian flight from Amsterdam yesterday, and for the ongoing tragedy that is the Israeli-Palestine conflict.
When will there ever be peace in the world? When will we each make our ‘Long Walk to Freedom’? May the day come of renewed hope, even though this seems impossible, so often.
My younger son David, a musician, met Mr. Mandela maybe 10 years back, at his home in Houghton here in Johannesburg, when his school jazz band performed for him. He was fit and well and my son still talks about the power that emanated from him. He knows that he was hugely privileged to have Mr. Mandela shake his hand and beam on him. He made this song years later in honour of Madiba’s birthday 2 years ago in July 2012. It is David’s mix of Mr. Mandela’s real voice. David composed it and he plays the trumpet.
Some of the words are from his inauguration as President on 10 May 1994.
‘Let there be justice for all
‘Let there be peace for all
‘Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all
‘Let each know that for each the body, mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves
‘Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.’
The link below is ‘The Kifnness’ recording of ‘Never Again’. http://soundcloud.com/thekiffness/the-kiffness-never-again
The following are further excerpts from his inauguration speech.
‘We are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom.
‘The time for the healing of wounds has come.
‘The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.
‘The time to build is upon us.
‘We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free’.