Home Opinion and Features Recommitting to Madiba’s high ideals

Recommitting to Madiba’s high ideals

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We could all learn from Mandela whose legacy urges us to become global citizens taking part in acts of “grace and humanity”

Nelson Mandela File photo: Denis Farrell

TODAY marks the fifth anniversary of the death of Nelson Mandela. That day and those which followed were, indeed, sad days for the country and the world as we mourned a great freedom fighter, statesman and humanitarian.

The anniversary comes at the end of the celebration of the centenary of Mandela’s birth; a year that has been filled with activities, including the Nelson Mandela annual lecture addressed by former US president Barack Obama, the Global Citizen Festival on Sunday, and a walk planned for this Sunday which will retrace the route of the cortège to the Union Buildings where Mandela lay in state before he was laid to rest at Qunu, Eastern Cape.

Oprah Winfrey, who spoke at Sunday’s festival, said we could all learn from Mandela whose legacy urges us to become global citizens taking part in acts of “grace and humanity” to forge a more equitable and secure world for all humankind.

On what would have been Madiba’s 100th birthday, Jeff Radebe, who chaired the inter-ministerial committee involved in the centennial celebration for both Madiba and Ma Albertina Sisulu, said he hoped 2018 would be remembered as a year in which “transformation gained traction”.

Certainly, the festival provided a sense that transformation is possible, but we need to bed down the promises and turn the hype and happiness into something palpable.

Tomorrow is a more sombre memorial, one that should serve as a time of reflection on what Madiba stood for, fought for, and meant to us and a time in which we all recommit ourselves to his ideals of justice and equality in a non-racial South Africa.