Thank You, Madiba

madiba (387x444) When I was a young girl growing up in South Africa in the 1960s, all I knew about Nelson Mandela was that according to government propaganda of the day, he was a traitor. Words like sabotage and traitor were ascribed to him. I didn’t know the meaning of those newspaper headlines and assumed they were bad. Mandela’s name was definitely not mentioned in our government controlled schools.

It wasn’t till the mid-70s after I had been exiled from South Africa and unstoppable protests and riots broke loose in the country of my birth, through the international press, that I learned who Mandela really was. I learned that he, initially committed to non-violence, co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), leading a sabotage campaign against the apartheid regime. He was arrested in 1962, and convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the government for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

At the Rivonia Trial, in his defense, he made this brave declaration from the dock: “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons 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 needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” February 11, 1990, was one of those monumental dates written on the history pages.

In my home in Canada, tears spilled from my eyes splashing the garment on my ironing board as I stared at the television screen in disbelief, when networks all around the world broadcasted Mandela’s walk out of the Cape Town prison gates to freedom. Thank God you lived to see that day, and thank you, Nelson Mandela, for taking on the fearsome juggernaut of apartheid and finally slaying the beast. Rest in peace, Madiba.

6 thoughts on “Thank You, Madiba

  1. That was so endearing Thank you for sharing your personal story of Mandela. You are appreciated.

  2. Tragedies like Jesus’ death on the cross, the masacre of the Jews and Nelson Mandela’s 27 yrs in jail amidst of the struggle of his people to end injustice are always the beginning of a new more advance era. Mandela was the end of an unfair system and the beginning of a new potential heaven on earth. Let’s pray that this new era, now 20 yrs old, never ends in a tragedy….

    Beautiful tribute to an extraordinary great man….

    • Thanks Martie, for taking the time to comment. The sad thing about history is that our governments don’t learn from it and it has a tendency to repeat itself through some smooth talker or mesmerizer
      of the masses.

  3. Hello there

    I was in Diane’s class with you in Christchurch,firstly congratulations with your book such a great achievement I am so proud that you put your life down and what a fortuitous time when all of our thoughts are with the struggle of the oppressed as Mandela is put to rest. My late father meet him in NZ after the Chogum (head of countries of the world) conference in Queenstown . It was Anzac Day and my father was a soldier in WW2 they walked to the memorial up a hill in Arrowtown Mandela was older than my father but dad said he strode up the hill way ahead of them all, dad said he had a a huge presence a man among men a true gentle man . I guess we all have a Mandela story, he more than any man on earth has given us an example of how we should fight for the rights of all peoples . God only knows we need to fight for our oppressed sisters throughout the world , so many live oppressed .

    All my love stay safe and thank you for writing your story that is so special.

    Have a great Christmas


    Kaye Stalker Sent from my iPad


    • Thank you Kaye. How wonderful that your father met Mandela. He was one of those exceptional people who had a special calling to walk the pages of history.
      So lovely to hear from you.


      Jennifer ((hugs))

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