Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela

Just heard the terribly sad news of the death of Nelson Mandela, a great man. Former South African president and anti apartheid leader, he changed our world. I was amazed to hear he was 95. By the end of his life he seemed almost immortal. One of the many remarkable things about him was that, despite being imprisoned for 27 years, he did not live the rest of his life embittered. As someone said: "He was not a hater." 

Apartheid had made South Africa a pariah when it came to sports. I remember my Aunt and Uncle staging sit-downs at rugby games in New Zealand to protest the All Blacks, the NZ rugby team, playing the Springboks, the South African team. 

In 1981 New Zealand let the Springboks into the country to tour.  I remember bloody protests when the Springboks made that infamous tour. When Mandela heard the news of the protests from his prison cell on Robben Island he described it as "light piercing the darkness."

Looking back I wish I had done so much more to protest apartheid. What did Nelson Mandela mean to you?


  1. I remember how hard everyone fought against apartheid when I was at university - it was everywhere and was all people talked about and wrote letters of protest about and boycotted about. It was an inspiring time and I just remember having the same feeling when he walked out of that prison for the first time as I had when I saw the first piece of the Berlin Wall come down: we did it! Goodness can prevail and always will!

  2. I wish I could say I would like to have done more but there are atrocities that happen now that I am not doing much about and feel very powerless against and that alone makes me realize what and how much he has done. I hope people remember his spirit in South Africa and peace is maintained...

  3. He is one of my personal heroes. It's amazing that he had no bitterness despite 27 years in prison. What an inspiring man and a true hero.

  4. He was quite the guy indeed always looking up at his feed

  5. I was sad to see he had passed, but my goodness, had no idea that he was in his 90s! I saw some news coverage about it on tv yesterday, and thought how he had already made such a difference early on in his life. I used to have a quote from him on my wall for years. I think he makes a lot of us feel that we haven't done enough--which is probably part of why his life was so amazing.

    xo Mary Jo

  6. From Julie T. in Pennsylvania:

    "Nelson Mandela has been my hero for years and the only human being I would have done anything to meet. I give his book "Mandela's Way" as gifts and keep it by my bedside as my bible!!! He was the most amazing person to ever live. I feel such a sadness for the world!!!
    Read the gives u strength and hope when things seem bad."

  7. A truly inspirational man , my daughter was doing a project on prejudice and we were talking about Mandela's life as the news came through.

  8. Nelson Mandela was such a gracious man. That he didn't hate amazes me.. It still blows my mind that apartheid was happening in my lifetime and not that long ago..


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