A Day with Nelson Mandela

After many days of anxious waiting, I finally managed to obtain permission to spend a day with one of the truly great men of all times. This person is none other than Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela was born on the 18th of July, 1918 in Transkei, South Africa. He actively took up the struggle to achieve equality for Africans. The South African Regime of those days introduced Apartheid, which segregated the whites, Africans and the Asians. Mandela was sentenced to five years hard labor in 1962. Subsequently, he was sentenced to life imprisonment (Nelson Mandela, 2007).

People the world over, were disgusted with the racist regime led by P.W. Botha and a number of trade and economic sanctions were imposed on this despicable regime. Botha received his just desserts and was paralyzed due to a cerebral stroke. F.W. de Klerk took over the reins of power and released Mandela from prison on the 11th of February, 1990 (Nelson Mandela, 2007).

After the exchange of trivial pleasantries, I asked Mandela to expatiate on his achievements and beliefs. He gave me some nuggets of information, which I am setting out in the sequel. Nelson Mandela represents one of the greatest examples of the triumph of the human spirit. He was incarcerated for twenty – seven years, under extremely barbaric conditions by the racist South African Regime. He remained strong, he never lost hope, he was always brave and he never compromised his moral integrity. He was verily the lodestone for the suffering and oppressed humanity of the world.

After this he described what he considered to be one of his greatest contribution, namely, the fact that he was successful in reconciling the blacks and the whites in South Africa, ending Apartheid and transforming South Africa into a country that was bereft of bloodshed. The South Africa that he wrought was peaceful and democratic.

He also told me that he was a true lover of peace and the welfare of mankind. Moreover, he had never compromised the welfare of his people for his personal freedom and he had never relinquished his political beliefs. With this adamant attitude, Mandela attracted the world’s attention and became the symbol of the sufferings and struggles of black South Africans. He was appointed by the United Nations as an ambassador to deal with the civil war in Burundi and to negotiate with the militia groups (Nelson Mandela, 2007).

The personality and behavior of Nelson Mandela made him a very popular leader. He was instrumental in inspiring people to greater heights of endeavor. He gained the admiration of the world’s populace and became a global leader. He was a staunch follower of Gandhi the Indian Messiah of peace, and had followed the precepts of Gandhi in campaigning against apartheid. An extremely interesting fact that he disclosed to me was that he had changed his ideology, which had initially accepted that violence was inevitable to end apartheid to an ideology that used non – violent methods (Nelson Mandela, 2007).

Accordingly, his campaigns and struggle did not involve widespread bloodshed. During his period of incarceration widespread crime against blacks and coloreds were committed by the apartheid regime. Despite these incidents, Mandela never harbored thoughts of revenge.  He exhorted his people to forgive the whites and to reconcile their differences with them (Nelson Mandela, 2007).

It was getting late and I had to bid farewell, although, unwillingly, and as a parting gift; Nelson Mandela told me that after assuming Presidency, he had instituted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in order to promote peace and reconciliation between the enraged and vengeful blacks and their white oppressors. Moreover, he had introduced several welfare measures such as better housing, education and economic reforms to improve the standard of living of black South Africans (Nelson Mandela, 2007).

References

Nelson Mandela. (2007, July 30). Retrieved September 26, 2007, from moreorless : heroes & killers of the 20th century: http://www.moreorless.au.com/heroes/mandela.html

Nelson Mandela. (2007, July 30). Retrieved September 26, 2007, from moreorless : heroes & killers of the 20th century: http://www.moreorless.au.com/heroes/mandela.html

 

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