“People ask me why I went to prison. I went to prison so that I could be free.” These are the profound words of Nelson Rohlihlahla Mandela.
I have pondered long and hard over these wise words and never did it ring more clearly than last Thursday when Madiba broke an infinite number of hearts by taking his last breath.
The world stood still for that moment when Zuma uttered the words that shook the nation. “Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rohlihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed.”
Since that sad Thursday, the world has awoken from it slumber and everyone looked deep into their hearts for a piece of memory of the great man.
Madiba always wore an infectious smile and it would rub off on even the most stone cold hearts. His warmth and love united a divided South Africa and cast a beautiful rainbow at which end was the pot of freedom.
However, despite the radiant smile and magic personality there were detractors that caused Tata a lot of pain.
You see, Madiba’s fight for freedom was not only for South Africa, but for every country that was bound by chains by oppressed rule or hidden agendas and etched onto the heart of this great man was Palestine.
“South Africa will never be free until Palestine is free,”said Mandela. So is South Africa really free?
We are free from Apartheid, white minority rule but Madiba’s vision was broader than just our beautiful country.
Madiba fought for the world and it is a shame that today’s world leaders of “great nations” don’t possess an iota of Madiba magic, his charisma or leadership skills.
Now that Madiba has departed, every foe has regurgitated literal nonsense that Madiba was his inspiration.
At the memorial for Mandela at FNB Stadium near Soweto Obama said: “For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning and a time to celebrate a heroic life. But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask: How well have I applied his lessons in my own life? It’s a question I ask myself, as a man and as a President.”
More than how well Obama acquired lessons from Madiba, the question is did he acquire any lessons from the global icon?
“We’re going to close Guantanamo. And we’re going to restore habeas corpus,” Obama said in 2007. “We’re going to lead by example — not just by word but by deed. That’s our vision for the future.”
Mandela kept his promise to free South Africa from Apartheid, Obama on the other hand failed to honour his word to free the prisoners of Guantanamo and close the horrible facility.
I ask you world leaders, those of you that have inflicted crimes against humanity, what inspired you about Madiba? If you were truly inspired by Madiba, the world would’ve tasted freedom the way South Africans have.
Ebrahim Fakir, a South African political analyst said “What does surprise me though is people who previously wanted him killed, and people who wanted him to remain in prison are now celebrating him & now not just celebrating him are now bringing their families, their entire families to come & commemorate his life…”
So isn’t this hypocritical and an absolute insult to the legacy of Mandela?
Yet, these so called leaders menaced our shores with blood dripping from their hands paying their respects to a man whose ideals vastly differed from theirs soiling this land of freedom.
“Almighty Allah, oh our Lord, our supreme Lord. We beseech you that future leaders of this great country and leaders of the entire world and people of this country and people of the world would stand up for the ideals and vision, our Madiba strove for. As Madiba never lost an opportunity to reconcile people.”
This was the dua of Moulana Ebrahim Bham the Secretary General of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa rendered at the memorial service for Madiba at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg highlighting the qualities of Madiba that so many leaders lack today.
“As he (Madiba) stood up to injustice and illegal wars, let us do likewise even if it is waged by the powerful. As he stood up for the oppressed people of the world, we pray to You oh Almighty Allah to help us sustain that resolve and realize, we preserve our freedom by helping others towards freedom.”
It was this strong message to world leaders by Moulana Bham that the billions witnessed are hoping will penetrate those that have the hardest of hearts.