A Prologue that's dedicated to Madiba
The spirit of your incorrigible fight against “The evil that men do” lives in all of us who truly love and cherish freedom. Thank you for making me proud to be a son of Africa Mr. Mandela, the world has truly lost a special leader and loving grandfather. Rest in Peace Brother. – 1918 - 2013
In the News...
On December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela known lovingly throughout the world as “Madiba”, passed peacefully away at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa amidst a small gathering of family and close friends.
When Madiba’s frail and elderly body finally succumbed to medical complications that were instigated by a nagging and persistent lung infection, he was ninety-five years old.
With an understanding and personal belief that only the body dies, I’d like to believe that his spirit was released and he was able to rejoin his ancestral Thembu spirits that guided and protected him throughout his long and dangerous journey-quest of freeing his Black and Brown-skinned South African people from nearly 500 years of Dutch castigation.
And just like Moses of ancient Hebrew and Christian lore, Nelson Mandela who was born July 18, 1918 in the village of Mvezo, in the Cape Province region of South Africa, was raised and educated as a noble prince from a royal African family.
And just like Moses, Mandela was born to lead his people out of bondage and teach them that the “yoke of tyranny” imposed upon them by godless men [Dutch pseudo “Children of God”] would one day soon be defiantly thrown off of their neck and the very same people who imposed racial terror upon them, would “kneel” before God and the world, and be severely humbled as punishment for their many wicked transgressions.
Admired and beloved by tens of millions of humans around the globe, the spirit of Nelson Mandela lives in all of us who abhor racism, classism and bigotry.
When Nelson Mandela’s death was confirmed and announced to the world, it is said that the entire continent of Africa [but especially the people in his home village of Mvezo] danced throughout the night in honor of his gargantuan struggles and in celebration of his colossal victories.
For nearly 50 years the “Lion of South Africa” fought valiantly against a White-supremacist South African government that brutally imposed a sadistic form of government over non-Whites that was so immoral and so unjust that for over 65 years 90% of the world still compares Apartheid to Nazism.
Although Madiba’s arduous journey was full of immense pain and personal sacrifice, he died at peace knowing that his many sacrifices were not made in vain.
With the death of this larger-than-life icon that represented complete and total resistance to South Africa’s extreme racism that was bitterly intertwined with government, the world has lost a legitimate hero and South Africa has lost its most cherished son.
Ponder this, “If Nelson Mandela had been a man of wicked character, how many hundreds of thousands of Blacks and Whites would have unnecessarily died in a bloody South African civil war?”
Once branded as a “terrorist”, an “outlaw”, a “communist” and a “criminal” by his country’s [then] racist and brutally oppressive all-White government, Mandela after serving 27 years of degrading imprisonment, would be vindicated on February 2, 1990 when South African President F. W. de Klerk, after having an epiphany that the future of apartheid was doomed in the land of the Xhosa and the Zulu, unconditionally released Mandela from his imprisonment.
Shuttled between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison, for over 18 years of Mandela’s 27 year incarceration he slept in a bed-less, cot-less jail cell with no plumbing. He was made to break large stones into small stones with a sledge hammer and he was only allowed a visitor once a year and a letter once every six months.
“Oh blessed are ye who is called “criminal” by your oppressor and find the resolve to rise from your dusty jail cell to one day lead men, women and children from the bitter pain of bondage to the nectar-like sweetness of freedom”. TheodoreW.
On May 10, 1994 Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress, Winnie Mandela and countless friends who gave blood, sweat and tears to end apartheid, rejoiced and gave thanks for the election of Nelson Mandela as the first Black President in the history of South Africa.
The world should know that the official demise of the apartheid government in South Africa began the second after [then] South African President F.W. de Klerk [following through with his “epiphany” to end Apartheid], held multi-racial democratic elections, and the first melanin enriched South African cast their vote for Nelson Mandela.
Arguably the social / governmental miracle that occurred in South Africa on May 10, 1994 is equivalent to 19th century American-born-slave, later to become both distinguished abolitionist and author Frederick Douglass being elected President of the United States in the year 1865.
As Nelson Mandela stood triumphantly overlooking from a balcony at the multi-ethnic crowd of hundreds of thousands of South African countrymen / women who enthusiastically called him “President Mandela”, it dawned on him that finally, at the expense of countless generations of Black South Africans being subjected to over 500 years of racist Boer rule the nightmare of governing by race and creed was finally over.
It should be noted that the struggle against Apartheid that mirrored the non-violent strategy of Mahatma Gandhi took on a different persona after the Sharpeville Massacre on March 20, 1960. On that infamous date, 69 Black and Brown-skinned South Africans were mercilessly gunned down by White South African policemen during a peaceful demonstration being held by Black and Brown protestors.
The demonstration was held in defiance of Apartheid Pass Book laws that demanded immediate proof of identification of Black and Brown-skinned South Africans who were “found in White neighborhoods”.
Any Afrikaner could approach a Black / Brown-skinned man, woman or child and demand proof of why they “existed in their space”.
Not having the required-by-law pass book was grounds for imprisonment. Determined to protest the emasculating law that mirrored the vile explanations Nazi Brown-Shirts used as they demanded “Papers” [identification] from German Jews, approximately 5000 Black and Brown-skinned South Africans converged and walked in unison to the local Sharpeville Afrikaner police station without their pass book, requesting civilly to be arrested for violating an Apartheid law.
The Negrophobic overreaction of over 300 police officers that ended in the massacre of unarmed fellow South Africans that were engaged in legal democratic demonstrations, convinced Mandela and many in the ANC (African National Congress) that a combination of both violent and non-violent resistance was needed to thwart and eventually defeat Apartheid.
Just like American Revolutionary War “Heroes” used both the musket and diplomacy to end the tyranny of England’s King George, so would Black and Brown-skinned South Africans end White tyranny in their own homeland.
However a strange thing happened to Nelson Mandela during his incarceration. Instead of growing in hatred of his prison tormentors and the people who enslaved his people, Mandela grew to better understand that engagement in violence too often begets the spilling of innocent blood, so consciously he made a personal decision to lead [albeit from a prison cell] a powerful international coalition of supporters who were determined to influence their own government to divest economic trade / interests with South Africa’s apartheid government.
As always in life, money “talks” and although apartheid supporters like former American President Ronald Reagan, former American Vice President Dick Cheney and Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher all vehemently opposed any economic sanctions be levied against Pretoria’s apartheid government, their respective branches of governments overruled their indifference to the suffering of tens of millions of Black and Brown-skinned South Africans and applied political pressure that in the end, divested economic support and stifled South Africa’s economy.
In closing, it is my sincere hope that when the light in Madiba’s eyes began to fade, that his ears and mind were able to clearly discern the distinct beats and rhythms of his native village drums, welcoming his soon to be arrival.
It is also my sincere wish that as he took his last mortal breath that the image of a younger Nelson Mandela, his wife Winnie, their children and their many grandchildren walking as free South Africans was the last image he saw.
On December 15, 2013 Madiba will be laid to rest with honors in his beloved South Africa.
God has called you home brother Mandela, you’ve accomplished your task superbly and you’ve won your race, and like Moses of old-time, you’ve led your people out of bondage, so…rest well and please guard over us all; Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., John Brown and Brother Malcolm has a table reserved for you.
As always the New Orleans Examiner is interested in what you think. Will freedom fighters from all corners of the world remember Nelson Mandela as an inspirational force to empower them to resist the darkness of oppression? Inquiring minds wanna know. Sound off.
Until next time, Good day, God Bless and Good fishing.