Today, at the age of 95, former South African President Nelson Mandela passed away due to illness that was prolonged for months.
Along with being president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was also an anti-apartheid revolutionary and freedom fighter in his country; first he used violence to take a stand against apartheid, but, while in prison, began to take a more peaceful approach to unite the country rather than divide the country that was on the brink of a race war. With his passing, there are fears of a race war being incited, only this time with the target being white farmers and other whites in South Africa rather than the blacks that were once, for generations, the target of apartheid.
Some facts about Nelson Mandela.
- Nelson Mandela was named Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela.
- “Rolihlahla” literally means “pulling the branch of the tree,” but is often thought to mean, “troublemaker.”
- He was allowed only one visitor per year and was only allowed to write a letter every six months, while in prison.
- Nelson Mandela was born to a royal house.
- Nelson Mandela supported armed struggle after peaceful protests were met with violence.
- Nelson Mandela rejected offers of freedom while incarcerated.
Nelson Mandela’s Legacy.
Nelson Mandela has left a legacy behind in his passing that is one of unity and the end of apartheid. To quote President Bill Clinton, Mr. Mandela was a man that was willing to share the future with all- even those who kept him in captivity. He began in violence, but ended in peace and the peace is what helped to unite a country torn apart by centuries of racism and exploitation; a nation that was in extreme poverty for many and that still is in extreme poverty today.
I hope that we can all work together as a global community in honoring this legacy that was left behind.
May you rest in peace, Mr. Mandela.
“I was not born with a hunger to be free. I was born free-free in every way that I could know. Free to run in the fields near my mother’s hut, free to swim in the clear stream that ran through my village, free to roast mealies under the stars and ride the broad backs of slow-moving bulls. As long as I obeyed my father and abided by the customs of my tribe, I was not troubled by the laws of man or God.”
Nelson Mandela; July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013