Wednesday, December 11, 2013
A Tribute to Nelson Mandela
(July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013)
When I heard on Thursday December 5th that Nelson Mandela passed away, my heart hurt. It hurt for the struggle he endured throughout his life and for the passing of one of our great leaders in this crazy mixed up world of ours. All that day, I was remembering February 11, 1990--the day he walked out of prison, after serving 27 years for encouraging black South Africans to go on strike and battling South African apartheid with non-violent protests. I remember standing in a crowd of 58,000 people in the middle of the field, at the Oakland Coliseum July 1, 1990. When he approached the stage, the crowd went wild. I started to cry; and so did everyone around me. When the crowd finally calmed down, Nelson Mandela began to speak. A quiet calm came over the 58, 000 people-- everyone was hanging on his every word. I remember how in awe I was at this man who had endured so, but forgave his captors. He said ''Despite my 71 years, at the end of this visit, I feel like a young man of 35. I feel like an old battery that has been recharged. And if I feel so young, it is the people of the United States of America that are responsible for this." He also said, he had to come to the Bay Area because cities such as Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco were among the early adopters of ordinances calling for divestment of stocks in American companies doing business in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was a man that we should all inspire to emulate. He will live forever in my heart. Nelson Mandela changed the world with his actions. His life journey will always be beacon of equality & hope for all. My favorite quote from Nelson Mandela is:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” R.I.P. President Mandela.