Between Xenophobic Attackers and the Memory of Mandela

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By Kurtis Adigba

This morning,I woke up thinking about leadership in Africa. The first person that came to my mind,was president Nelson Mandela, who is deservedly and adoringly, known as Madiba- father. Madiba, is a term of endearment given to Mandela by South Africans,and embraced by the world.

All over the world, Nelson Mandela, was adored and cultivated. He stood tall literally and metaphorically. He did not achieve greatness by just being the president of the RSA(others have been president too,and they are not seen as great). He was also a prisoner for almost 3 decades in one of the world’s most dehumanizing jail houses. He was treated worst than an animal. He was subjected to back-breaking labor and the worst human right abuses. He was denied family time-had no opportunity to be with wife and see his children grow. He was denied the privilege of attending the funerals of loved ones. He came out of jail primed for hate and vengeance.Mandela, did not attain greatness because he was jailed. Many other South Africans, were also jailed in the same circumstances as he was, and some were killed;but they did not become great as Madiba.

So why and how did Nelson Mandela, Madiba, become a global icon and statesman? He chose to preach and practice love in place of hate, forgiveness in place of revenge and vengeance. No one in SA and in the world, would have blamed him for preaching hate and seeking revenge on the evil Apartheid regime henchmen and their people, but he knew better and he did better. Revenge, albeit momentarily sweet and satisfying, do not solve problems, it creates new problems and gives room for more revenge.

Madiba, committee himself to building a new nation- a rainbow nation. A nation in which everyone will have equal stakes and chances and will be treated fairly and equally irrespective of color,language,and race. He may not have succeeded in his lifetime, nonetheless, these are great aspirations.

Many in-secured and petty persons are quick to compare themselves to,or are being compared to Mandela, but lack everything that made him thick and great.

Madiba, was one great, if not the greatest African leader. Stand up for Madiba, Nelson Mandela, former president of RSA.

Did we have Xenophobic attacks under his leadership?

Adigba, a Lagos based Lawyer is also a Political Consultant

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