Practise Mandela’s ideals

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Posted  Friday, December 20   2013 at  00:00

It is as with great sorrow as it is with great privilege that I have lived in the times of Nelson Madiba Rolilhlahla Mandela, a man that was clearly larger than life. Mandela’s reverence cannot end with being buried; instead, his legacy will stand firmly inscribed in all our hearts as we remain puzzled about what Madiba was made of!

We shall remain eternally grateful for the people of South Africa from whom the most revered being of all time hailed. From the Banks of the Mbashe River and the Thembu Royal family, we salute you for not only producing the ‘guiding conscience of humanity”, but for bringing up one individual who in the words of Barrack Obama was “a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of moral universe towards justice”

Madiba clearly demonstrated that individuals have power to make change happen no matter what would seem an insurmountable challenge. Nelson Mandela was the greatest humanist, but ironically dressed in modesty, simplicity and with unimaginable humility. Mandela lived in challenging times of great racial discrimination but sacrificed his life and took unimaginable courage to fight injustice. As Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury re- iterated in his tribute to Nelson Mandela “great injustice is overcome only by great courage”.

It is, therefore, not sufficient to be sorrowful about the passing on of this great world icon. It is more rewarding to emulate Madiba, practice his ideal and make our world a better place. It will be an insult to Madiba’s spirit to pour our reverence to a man who clearly lived what he believed, said, and practiced what he preached , without we ourselves attempting to live on similar ideals.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge through an avalanche of condolence massages from would leaders (benevolents, democrats, dictators and kleptocrats) and celebrates, but what Madiba would want is a simple “do what is just to all human kind.” This is the massage that would provide a befitting send off of a man whose candle has burnt out but whose ideals will continue lighting our lives.

Prof Augustus Nuwagaba,