So I had a newsletter planned for December, then it was announced that Madiba had passed away and our wonderful nation went silent and what I had on my mind seemed irrelevant.
My entire life has been filled with the name Mandela. When I was a child I was told by the system, its disciples and the hoodwinked public that he was a terrorist wanting to kill me and my family and that was why he was in jail. As I grew, so did the prevalence of his name and later when he was released from prison, together with FW de Klerk, he led South Africa to “peaceful” democratic elections.
For the last 20 years he became peacemaker, humanitarian and icon to the world. Now he has gone and I believe his name will never be forgotten.
It just seems strange to not have him as part of “my life” anymore. I thought I would write a piece about my opinion on him giving a more balanced account as I saw it. But just then, I received a mail from a good friend of mine, Anthony Morris [email protected] an expat Sales Training Practitioner to the Multi-Million Financial Services Sales Stars around the world and it was so beautifully written and sharing many of my own sentiments (I don’t think I could have said it any better) so I decided to, with his permission, share it with you instead of my regular rant. So to Anthony – thanks my buddy and very well played.
To Tata …. Thank you !
Long after the salty tears of our raw and unfettered grief have dried, far beyond the united global anguish at your passing- and forever surpassing every tribute penned by journalists and statesmen alike whose collective hearts today skipped a beat across this world which you so markedly impacted- you will be remembered for your unrivalled grace, saintly compassion and inspirational stewardship of a country writhing in the death throes of a past too ghastly to calmly remember. A people – black, white and every colour in between- whose hopes and spirit had been strangled by the rattling chains of fear, anxiety and international isolation.
When you freed South Africa, Madiba, you simultaneously unleashed a new national identity and re-positioned our global stature as a nation to be respected. There cannot exist a single individual person- within our borders and far beyond- of lucid community conscience, who does not draw personal reflection and internal strength from your work and struggle.
My life’s ambition of meeting you personally was cut short today as you slipped from the mortal grasp of our collective embrace. Your legacy, however, is permanently enshrined on every street corner in beautiful SA. From the dusty shebeens to the polished floors of corporate kingdoms, your light burns bright. From the noisy hallways of integrated schools pregnant with the promise of a better tomorrow to the board rooms ofinternational commerce smiling their renewed welcome to our world-leading captains of industry.
Your passing does not symbolize the end of an era, but rather the beginning of a new dawn as we navigate- gently bearing both the encouragement and admonition of your overseeing spirit- across a freshly-hewn landscape stained to every corner by your awesome and forever- enshrined indelible personal moral watermark.
Today we closed the door on your physical presence, but rolled back the roof on your heavenly observance of those tasked to finish your life’s work in every sphere of South African endeavour.
We will miss your wicked sense of humour, loving smile and caring selfless nature….but how you made us all FEEL about ourselves and our country will never leave our inner being- and for that we are eternally indebted to you.
Rest easy, Madiba- knowing that there need never be another who suffers as you did nor triumphs over adversities which you dismantled with resolute and steadfast commitment.