‘When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.’ This apt quote describes our great late president, Nelson Mandela. He can rest in peace for bringing us freedom, and for the unification of his people and his country.
As the first president of a democratic South Africa, Mandela successfully worked towards restoring the economy, opening social services access to all, restoring truth and integrity in members of parliament, and reversing the effects of apartheid.
He was indeed a real leader when he said, “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
The United Nations declared July 18, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, as ‘Mandela Day’ each year throughout the world. It is on this day that we are called upon not only to reflect but also to implement the Mandela legacy.
The legacy includes helping the less fortunate, eradicating poverty, sheltering the homeless, weeding out corruption, and conducting ourselves in a truthful and dignified manner.
‘67’ is the number of years that Nelson Mandela spent fighting actively against injustice and ensuring that we have freedom.
On Mandela Day, citizens may give 67 minutes of their time in volunteering their services to the less fortunate in the community. There may be other forms of remembrance. Some organisations are collecting food, blankets and other items to donate to the poor.
In order to perpetuate this great leader’s legacy, residents should participate in this venture in whatever way they can.
Sadly, soon after his period of presidency and demise, corruption and greed became almost the norm for politicians. Billions were and are being stolen from the people.
Thus, the majority remain poor, unemployed and many lack basic sanitation and houses.
With the appointment of a new head of the NPA and a new president, there is some hope that these rogue politicians will be arrested, incarcerated and the stolen money recovered.
The following quote sums up Mandela’s dream for the people: ‘A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.’