FARE THEE WELL NELSON MADIBA MANDELA

The world is mourning and celebrating the life and deeds of Nelson Madiba Mandela who passed on last Thursday. He was an iconic figure who touched many hearts across the world. He won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 in recognition of his fight against apartheid and promotion of peace and reconciliation in South Africa. Many people have described him as an inspiration to human kind. Nelson Mandela’s legacy offers many moral lessons to the youth.
Late Nelson Madiba Mandela of South Africa. Net photo.
Late Nelson Madiba Mandela of South Africa. Net photo.

The world is mourning and celebrating the life and deeds of Nelson Madiba Mandela who passed on last Thursday. He was an iconic figure who touched many hearts across the world. He won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 in recognition of his fight against apartheid and promotion of peace and reconciliation in South Africa. Many people have described him as an inspiration to human kind. Nelson Mandela’s legacy offers many moral lessons to the youth.

The young people should emulate Mandela’s spirit of peace and reconciliation for the good of the society. He went through trials and tribulations. He was in prison for twenty seven years but when he was released, he reconciled with those who tormented him for the sake of promoting peace between the blacks and whites. As result of reconciliation, South Africa has made tremendous progress.

Mandela showed the world that co-existence is a virtue and discrimination is a stereo-type. We should therefore urge the young people to uphold peace and reconciliation.

Nelson Mandela had passion for education right from his childhood. He was a well educated gentleman and a great believer in education. He knew that education was vital in the social, political and economic transformation of society. He strongly believed in life-long learning. He continued with legal education while he was in prison yet he was subjected to too much physical and psychological torture. Officials of The Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development commented recently after his death that “ Of all his achievements, the one he still spoke most proudly about to the end of his life was the completion of his studies.’’ This should be an eye opener to the youth to give priority to their studies regardless of their socio-economic status.

The challenges that they may experience along the way should inspire them to struggle for excellence.

Nelson Mandela is quoted to have said that ‘’ A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.’’ This should inspire our learners to work hard in academics and to exhibit acceptable behavior because discipline and excellence are intertwined. They should respect their parents, elders, teachers and peers in their pursuit for knowledge and skills.

Madiba will be remembered for his profound love for young people. He founded the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in South Africa. The charity organization’s motto is: ‘’Changing the way society treats its children and the youth.’’ It targets young people under the age of twenty two most especially the poor and those affected by HIV/AIDS. A big number of young fellows have benefited from it. This is a challenge to the rest of us who are still alive. We should reflect on the way we handle the young ones and work towards empowering them with life skills that guarantee meaningful lives for them.

Good leaders are also good listeners. This attribute was clearly portrayed in the character of Nelson Mandela. It is stated that as a son of a tribal councilor he learned the art of listening which helped him in his role as a leader and peace maker throughout his life. Students’ leaders in schools and youth leaders in organizations and communities should borrow a leaf from Mandela’s good listening skills that enabled him offer effective leadership.

South Africans and the rest of the world celebrate Mandela day every 18th day of July. They spend sixty seven minutes helping those who are less fortunate as a way of honouring Mandela’s greatness. I think we should always join the South Africans to remember the legacy and philanthropy of Nelson Mandela.

The youth across the world should use education to promote peace, reconciliation, equality, social justice and co-existence. This is the only way they can honour Mandela and keep his candle burning.

Rest in peace, Madiba.

The writer is a teacher at Riviera High School.

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