Remembering Mandela

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“Let there be peace for all. Let there be justice for all. The Sun shall never set on such a glorious human achievement.” – Nelson Mandela.

Kansas City – Yesterday evening, South African President Jacob Zuma made a mournful announcement to his fellow South Africans, and the World, “My Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation, has departed.” Mandela was 95 years old.

For me, Mandela was always who I thought of when South Africa, and Africa in general, came to mind. He was a figure who entered the zenith of the world stage in 1994, just a few years after I was born. Mandela’s life was one of struggle and determination, fortitude and intense humanity. What allowed him to stand out and above the rest was that he was able to see the humanity even in those who imprisoned him for so very long. His uniting of South Africa behind Springbok, their national rugby union team, is just one of those genius moments of his presidency. Known to many by his Xhosa clan name Madiba, Mandela has been someone seen as a model in grace and perseverance for the rest of us to look up to in admiration. As British Prime Minister David Cameron said last night, “He was not just a hero for our time, but a hero for all time.”

Requiescat in Pace, Nelson Mandela. It is a well deserved rest after such a long and eventful life.

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