You Fought A Good Fight: Rest in Peace Madiba
By Shingi Chimwaza
It is not easy to find where to start when you talk of the life an icon of the stature of Nelson Mandela, but all the same the Creator has taken a ‘larger than life figure’, which strived to live a life for the betterment of a black South Africa.
I believe it is the whole world’s belief that Nelson Mandela is in Heaven as we speak, given our belief that Heaven and Hell is about how you lived your life on this earth.
That is, if you were so unloving and selfish, Heaven is unfortunately for those who lived their lives in a selfless manner and loved Humanity in acknowledgement of the image of God in which it was created.
For a fact, Nelson Mandela loved and respected fellow human beings, meaning he loved God.
The ideal that led to this man’s incarceration for a whole 27 years, is one that a lot of us could easily convert into cash and live a life with such a thick skin that no any amount of public ridicule would result in remorse.
Apartheid was an evil that man created against fellow man and was systematically put into use with an aim to treat a black no better than a dog or any other animal that may not be expected to reason like a human being.
Nelson Mandela stood up and organized together with his colleagues like Oliver Tambo, and Govan Mbeki to undo a system with a potential to condemn the coming generations to perpetual bondage.
The respect aspect about this man, is shown by his apparent appreciation of the basic issues of mathematics such as, a circle or a revolution being a complete 360 degrees, and so that be, in life, for one to complete a revolution without feeling dizzy (dzungu),he or she may need to pass the button like in a relay.
He never boasted to be the only man available to deliver the complete package of independence goods to an expectant nation, but he humbly sowed the seed of respect for the next man by passing the button to Thabo Mbeki.
That was never cowardice! It was mere cultivation of a culture that you may choose to call democracy or any other name that recognise the importance of leadership renewal in efforts to bring new impetus to the struggles of humanity.
The fruits of independence are not fully enjoyed yet in an independent South Africa, if one is to look at such issues as the land reform and all other issues that point at the imbalances between black and white.
Non-Violent confrontation has however so far proven to be the best. It may after all not be worth it to reverse the mishaps of more than a century within 20years of independence if it means having the economy in black hands but with anarchy and black against black oppression.
It is much better after all to follow Madiba’s culture of passing the button and each personality come in office with one or two items to change, with of course a whole picture of a total emancipated people as the ultimate goal.
It is this seed of democracy that Mandela sowed in South Africa that has allowed people like Julius Malema to be able to emerge and speak for what they believe in, despite their intellectual shortcomings but still with all limbs intact and very much alive.
It is the kind of democracy that saw Thabo Mbeki being recalled by the ruling party, and gracefully complied, and left office without firing a gun!
I am sure in that particular instance Thabo Mbeki was thinking of Madiba and how he chose to stay for just one term when people wanted him to stay on, and so why should I go against the people if they say I should go!
The fundamental lesson that I drew from Nelson Mandela’s life is that, in life you may never claim to know everything and so it is suicidal on your part to do so for in your own ‘righteousness’ you become very wrong in people’s eyes!
Like goes a Zimbabwean saying “uri wrong pahu right hwako!”(You are wrong just when you think you a right).
Rest in peace Nelson Mandela, for to me you brought a new definition of a hero and your legacy is there for the whole world to celebrate!
Shingi Chimwaza is from the Fletcher Summer Institute Alumni Network, a group under the International Centre For Non -Violent Conflict. He writes in his own capacity.