A few days ago, a colleague of mine told me that he was heading to South Africa to report on the condition of the ailing Nelson Mandela the Country’s former president. In a terse reply I told him just to be open and admit just like all other journalists and reporters just basically ‘whole’ media houses camped in the gold rich country, he was going to wait for the news of the Century, the death of Mandela.
It is a sad truth that many don’t want to admit but, it is the news that all media houses are elbowing and scheming to be the ones to break. I can’t blame people but that’s the news the world is waiting to hear. It would be sad even for North Korea’s president Kim, if Madiba as he is fondly called, was to walk out of Hospital standing tall and strong like a 30 year old stud.
As an African and Africanist I must bow down to the immense role Madiba has played throughout his life, first by fighting for the freedom of South Africa, fighting apartheid and eventually walking out of prison after twenty seven years of incarceration. Mandela is the African Man we all wish other African leaders would even try and emulate.
The man who straight out of prison and following a democratic election, took over the reins of Africa’s superpower but never went on a retaliatory mission against his oppressors or opponents. A man who unlike all his African counterparts never went on to loot public coffers or cut off huge chunks of land on all corners of the Country or cut mega commission deals for himself and his cronies from the rich mines.
A man, who unlike his other brothers in leadership across the continent didn’t turn to be a dictator and oppressor but guided his country through reconciliation, integration and development. He didn’t also proclaim himself president till death does us apart like his breathren in other African countries who fought for freedom.
A man who after being imprisoned was rewarded fairly with his Country’s leadership and he went on to become a global icon who’s face and stature eclipsed and hid the dirt and filth that is African leaders that we are accustomed to.
Madiba has won awards from all corners of the World including the 1993 Nobel peace prize, US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Order of Lenin. His wisdom, intelligence, courage charm and charisma cuts across all society without any discrimination whereas other African leaders perpetuate hate and untold misery against the poor, marginalized, political and economic opponents and later throw tirades of abuse at the West, when Justice for the weak is sought at the International Criminal Courts.
It’s so sad but we have to say goodbye to him, he has lived a life where he has seen it all, from prison cells, concerts with different celebrities to banquets with kings and queens.
When he finally departs, African leaders will not shy from oppressing its people with a stronger iron fist and the West will look the other way as Africans suffer with no father to protect them.
I wish I would be just 10% a man that he is……