… UBUNTU – I am because you are…So long my President…the longest walk to Freedom…

ImageOh my God where does one even begin to start? In as much as we would joke around about what we would do and how we would feel when Madiba dies but when it happened all of that was forgotten. Zee and I would go on and about how we would put in leave at work so we could mourn properly, I mean we would even take it as far as idealising the funeral day. Vuyo Mbuli and Noxolo Grootboom would cover the funeral and they would make us all cry because Noxolo in particular has a way of relating a sad situation/story to a point where even if you have the hardest of hearts you could never aid but cry. This was evident when she covered Chris Hani’s Funeral young as we were at the time but words like ‘nalo usizi lubhaliwe ebusweni befamily yakwa Hani’ still echos,so that was one reason. Reason number two would be the fact that she would not mispronounce Rholihlahla, sadly Vuyo passed on earlier this year  May his soul rest in peace), and in our minds we still haven’t found a replacement for him. Zolani Mkiva will be the main imbongi of cause, and we whether we in Qunu or Johannesburg we would put on our best mourning outfits (Yes in Black) and thee supreme dramatic hats as if were the chief mourners.

Friday 05 December 2013 04:16 -Text “ Lifting you and the nation up in prayer at the passing of Madiba – blessing through this period of mourning, may his well-deserved rest be peaceful…text from my American Mentor and friend

I try to go back to sleep, but I thought No man what does this text mean? As I try to read it again I receive a similar text this time from Germany

Good morning! My condolences for the death of Father Madiba, I wanted to call the moment I heard it but I couldn’t, will call later…

What is this?


Text from Ruth a friend based in Kenya:Oh my sister he was such a good man I can only imagine how you people are in South Africa right now. Sending you Love xoxo… and so texts were pouring in mostly from friends across the globe…

At this point I wake my sister up because my small mind can’t get around these text messages. People like to play games but all of these texts come from different people who I know don’t have a wicked sense of humour so it must be true. As I open my sisters room a sound of the radio welcomes me, so it’s true he’s no more O M G. Yes he was old and yes he’s been sick for quite some time but No the timing is just so bad “says my selfish self” but bad for who? Is death’s timing ever perfect. Do we get to a point where we say ‘you know what? its okay this person can die now’.This has to be the saddest day in history, even the sky is sad basking with the thickest black clouds I have ever seen, indeed a big tree has fallen.

And so I tweet : Never thought I would be this emotional, but what do you do when a great light has gone off?Aaaaaahhh Dalibhunga!

It was only yesterday when Nandz and I went to see the screen play {Mandela Long Walk to Freedom} and I was relating how the movie doesn’t do justice to the book. I then consoled myself by saying “It’s never a good idea to read a book first before seeing a movie, because it’s just not the same”. However casting Idris Elba as lead act kind of made up for most of what lacked  in the movie itself oh and of cause my girl Zikhona (straight face).

As I drive to the school where I help out listening to UWFM in my wretched state,( I let even the rudest of them all drivers to have their way, its ok go on swear at me as much as you want, what do I care/ Yes please oh I am begging you cut right through me without even indicating  that you are turning its all good. Right of way what is that? its a four way stop I was here first but you can all go) but why it’s not like I have known the man personally nor was I related to him but why, why do I feel like I knew him? I mean when he was released from prison in 1990 I was about 7, and when he visited my school I had bunked school that day so I never got to see him nor listen to his wise words in person, but why do I feel so much void though? Then it hits me…

I am not the only who feel like this because I am not the only one whom his humility touched to the deepest of the soul. But for me though when I look at where he came from his upbringing I cant help but wonder, what kind of a kid was he? When he walked barefoot the gravelled rural roads of Qunu and Mvezo did he have any idea of how big he would become. When he looked after his dad’s lives stock had he any idea how big he would become later on in life? Did he imagine himself touching so many hearts; spending 27 years in prison did that even cross his 9 year old mind? How did it happen that prisoners get so much wisdom, such a big and forgiving heart who was this man?…

“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.” Nelson R Mandela

Are you kidding me? How do you not hate people who hated you? How do you forgive people who ill-treated you just because you happen to have a darker skin than that of theirs? How do you forgive people who alienated you from your family, who deprived you an opportunity to be a hands – on father, a brother an uncle a friend, how do you? I mean you never had an opportunity to be at the netball field and witness your daughters playing with other kids, you missed birthday parties aren’t those important, parents meetings, family gatherings. But no wait those were privileges only reserved for people with the fairer skin right? So had you not gone to prison you and your comrades who knows maybe I would have been given to a 58 year old man with a pot belly as big as that TV screen touching this floor to marry. Education would have remained but a dream.

Chances are I am not making much sense, but as his long walk to freedom come to an end, one cannot help but ask herself. As president Mbeki put it Mandela’s memory would be best honoured if South Africans assessed whether the country was living up to the icon’s vision of a non-racial society.  Mbeki said that Mandela would be proud of the achievements made in the past 20 years but he would also be disappointed by the challenges that still faced the country. He said issues such as the absence of a non-racial and non-sexist society, along with the failure to eradicate poverty would have made Madiba unhappy. And I add  I doubt he would have approved us paying for driving in and around Johannesburg, I mean over and above the taxes that we pay in a form of Income tax, Vat, fuel levies, Car registrations we now have to pay JUST for driving just because we are in Johannesburg mxim, what is this etoll.

So I ask myself when I die will it be a case of good riddance or would I have at least made a difference even if it’s in the smallest form?

Of course Mandela was no saint, he had his flaws I mean he could not reconcile with the lovely Winnie ( we could never know the reasons behind that, not that its any of my business) but he stood by what he believed in to the very end…

“At the outset, I want to say that the suggestion made by the State in its opening that the struggle in South Africa is under the influence of foreigners or communists is wholly incorrect. I have done whatever I did, both as an individual and as a leader of my people, because of my experience in South Africa and my own proudly felt African background, and not because of what any outsider might have said.

“In my youth in the Transkei I listened to the elders of my tribe telling stories of the old days. Amongst the tales they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defense of the fatherland. The names of Dingane and Bambata, Hintsa and Makana, Squngthi and Dalasile, Moshoeshoe and Sekhukhuni, were praised as the glory of the entire African nation. I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle. This is what has motivated me in all that I have done in relation to the charges made against me in this case.

“Having said this, I must deal immediately and at some length with the question of violence. Some of the things so far told to the Court are true and some are untrue. I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites.

“All lawful modes of expressing opposition … had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the Government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.

“Four forms of violence were possible. There is sabotage, there is guerrilla warfare, there is terrorism, and there is open revolution. We chose to adopt the first method and to exhaust it before taking any other decision.

“Attacks on the economic life-lines of the country were to be linked with sabotage on Government buildings and other symbols of apartheid. These attacks would serve as a source of inspiration to our people. In addition, they would provide an outlet for those people who were urging the adoption of violent methods and would enable us to give concrete proof to our followers that we had adopted a stronger line and were fighting back against Government violence.

“Experience convinced us that rebellion would offer the Government limitless opportunities for the indiscriminate slaughter of our people. But it was precisely because the soil of South Africa is already drenched with the blood of innocent Africans that we felt it our duty to make preparations as a long-term undertaking to use force in order to defend ourselves against force. If war were inevitable, we wanted the fight to be conducted on terms most favorable to our people. The fight which held out prospects best for us and the least risk of life to both sides was guerrilla warfare. We decided, therefore, in our preparations for the future, to make provision for the possibility of guerrilla warfare.

“I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them … The Court will see that I attempted to examine all types of authority on the subject – from the East and from the West, going back to the classic work of Clausewitz, and covering such a variety as Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara on the one hand, and the writings on the Anglo-Boer War on the other.

“The ideological creed of the ANC is, and always has been, the creed of African Nationalism. It is not the concept of African Nationalism expressed in the cry, ‘Drive the White man into the sea.’ The African Nationalism for which the ANC stands is the concept of freedom and fulfillment for the African people in their own land … The ANC has never at any period of its history advocated a revolutionary change in the economic structure of the country, nor has it, to the best of my recollection, ever condemned capitalist society.

“I have always regarded myself, in the first place, as an African patriot.

“Today I am attracted by the idea of a classless society, an attraction which springs in part from Marxist reading and, in part, from my admiration of the structure and organization of early African societies in this country. The land, then the main means of production, belonged to the tribe. There were no rich or poor and there was no exploitation.

“Our fight is against real, and not imaginary, hardships or, to use the language of the State Prosecutor, ‘so-called hardships.’ Basically, we fight against two features which are the hallmarks of African life in South Africa and which are entrenched by legislation which we seek to have repealed. These features are poverty and lack of human dignity, and we do not need communists or so-called ‘agitators’ to teach us about these things.

“South Africa is the richest country in Africa, and could be one of the richest countries in the world. But it is a land of extremes and remarkable contrasts. The whites enjoy what may well be the highest standard of living in the world, whilst Africans live in poverty and misery.

“The complaint of Africans, however, is not only that they are poor and the whites are rich, but that the laws which are made by the whites are designed to preserve this situation.

“Above all, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy.

“This then is what the ANC is fighting. Their struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by their own suffering and their own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.

“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 and to see realized. But, my lord, if needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

 “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn.

“Yes, Mandela’s day is done. Yet we, his inheritors, will open the gates wider for reconciliation. And we will respond generously to the cries of blacks and whites, Asians, Hispanics, the poor who live piteously on the floor of our planet,”

“Nelson Mandela’s day is done. We confess it in tearful voices. Yet we lift our own to say thank you. Thank you, our Gideon. Thank you, our David, our great, courageous man. We will not forget you. We will not dishonour you. We will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us and that you loved us all.” Maya Angelou…

I thank you….


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