Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013 End of an Era
Tribute to Nelson Mandela, the man who fought against racial discrimination & inspired millions.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
– Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, died at age 95, in his home in Johannesburg on 5th December 2013. Mandela had a number of health issues in recent years including repeated hospitalizations with a chronic lung infection, last in June 2013. Later he returned to his home to receive continued medical care. He passed away on 5th December with his family members by his side. The world has lost its greatest leader and a Hero who has inspired millions of people around the world to stand up for their rights and never to discriminate people on the basis of their color, race or religion. The whole world is mourning for this great loss. It is truly end of an Era.
Nelson Mandela also known as Madiba or Tata, was the first black South African President and also an anti apartheid revolutionary. He went on to win the first fully democratic election in South African history, and in 1993 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his decades of work for human equality. Born on 18th July 1918 in the South African village of Mvezo, he grew up in Qunu, his mother’s kraal.
One of the major influences on people in the 20th century, Nelson Mandela will always be remembered not only for his heroic fight against racism but also for his kind, soft spoken nature and poise. After surviving 27 years in prison, 19 years doing hard labour.
He emerged as a gentle leader and also won the Nobel Prize for his leadership in ending apartheid through non violence. He was also known as the South African ‘Gandhi’ because of the same reason. Madiba — the Xhosa clan name by which Mandela was often referred — was one of the world’s greatest pupils, always eager to learn and to pass on his lessons.
Nelson Mandela was sent to prison on Robben Island in 1964; he was the 466th prisoner to arrive that year. He was given the prison number 46664.
Thirty-eight years later, Mandela gave his number to a global HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness campaign as a reminder of the sacrifices he made for a cause he believed in. 46664 (pronounced “four, double six, six four”) was established in 2002 as an independent, not-for-profit organisation.
Here are some of Nelson Mandela’s memorable words:
|Democratic and Free Society|
“During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. 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 and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
– April 1964, statement from the dock at the opening of his defence case in the Rivonia trial
“Let the strivings of us all prove Martin Luther King Jr. to have been correct, when he said that humanity can no longer be tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war. Let the efforts of us all prove that he was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precious than diamonds or silver or gold. Let a new age dawn.”
– December 1993, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech
“Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa.”
– May 1994, election victory speech to the people of Cape Town, South Africa
“The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.”
– May 1994, at his inauguration as president of the Democratic Republic of South Africa.
|No One Is Born to Hate|
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
– 1994, from his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”
|Bravery and Fear|
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
– 1994, “Long Walk to Freedom”
“We recall our terrible past so that we can deal with it, to forgive where forgiveness is necessary, without forgetting; to ensure that never again will such inhumanity tear us apart; and to move ourselves to eradicate a legacy that lurks dangerously as a threat to our democracy.”
– February 1999, opening address at the debate on the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
“AIDS is no longer just a disease; it is a human rights issue. It affects people of all ages but particularly young people. For the sake of all of them and our future, we must act and act now.”
– November 2003, 46664 concert at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa
“Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done. Amidst all of the human progress made over the last century, the world in which we live remains one of great divisions, conflict, inequality, poverty and injustice. Amongst many around the world a sense of hopelessness had set in as so many problems remain unresolved and seemingly incapable of being resolved. You, Mr. President, have brought a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place.”
– January 2009, on the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States
World Leaders and Celebrities react to the death of Nelson Mandela :
- “What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.” — Idris Elba, who has the title role in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
- “Mandela was one of the great leaders and teachers of the twentieth century. He conceived a model for mortal enemies to overcome their hatred and find a way through compassion to rebuild a nation based on truth, justice and the power of forgiveness. His passing should re-ignite a worldwide effort for peace.” — Paul Simon, whose acclaimed 1986 album “Graceland” was criticized by some for using South African musicians during a time when artists were boycotting the country. Some artists defended Simon and, with Mandela’s approval, he toured South Africa in the 1990s.
- “Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve — a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.” — Morgan Freeman, who starred as Mandela in “Invictus.”
- “What I will remember most about Mr. Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge.” — Boxing great Muhammad Ali.
- “What a sad day that such a great man has passed on and moved on up a little higher. Most extraordinary was how he rose above his being imprisoned and exalted himself above apartheid and hatred to unite the country, an unbelievable example of humanitarianism and courage.” — Singer Aretha Franklin.
- “Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us,” Mr Obama said. “His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better.” — US President Barack Obama.
- “Mandela will always be remembered and honoured by all mankind as one of its greatest liberators, a wise, courageous and compassionate leader, and an icon of true democracy.” – Goodluck Jonathan, President, Nigeria.
Nelson Mandela’s legacy continues and he will live forever in the hearts of the people he has inspired and it is due to his struggle that many people in the world can now breathe air freely despite of their race, caste, religion or race. He has played an important part in uniting the world and taught us to walk on the path of non violence and equality. Salute to him for making this world a better place to live. His contribution will never be forgotten and will always keep inspiring the coming generations.