The departed icon is NELSON MANDELA of South Africa, 1918-2013. A village boy who rose to become the father of a nation. He had risen from mini to maxi, unknown to known, prison to Presidential palace and from being hurt to most forgiving. The Yoruba ethnic group of South-West Nigeria has this truism: “Ewe nla ko ni pada ru wewe”. By transliteration, it means big leaves will never grow small leaves. What the saying really means is that royal blood of greatness will always be shown in the life of anyone who truly carries the traits of royalty. Greatness was in Nelson’s gene, thanks to science and not superstitious belief. We learnt that he was born into a royal family, and he showed the sterling quality of royalty in all his life endeavor to his very end.
This is a moment of sober reflection for us from all walks of life, believers and non-believers alike. Encomium continued to be showered on him because of what he represented to South Africa and humanity in general. Fear of the Lord will always empower us against all odds in life.
In the realm of spirituality or faith in God, one would like to stand him with uncompromising believers in the awesomeness of God who will always deliver those who trust in HIM in any form or level of danger. Amidst apartheid, killing, maiming and jailing, he stood firmly in the belief that one day South Africa would be free from oppression and discrimination. After his twenty-seven years in jail, the freedom fighters got independence especially equality for all South Africans. Apartheid policy died like the Wall of Jericho fell without the Israelites using human mundane weaponry. By divine intervention, the struggle won the sympathy of all nations especially the United States, Western Europe, communist countries, and African countries that were just emerging into political independence. These destiny helpers fought the battle for South Africans with excruciating weapon of economic sanction that forced reason, sympathy and indeed empathy on the colonial masters to abandon God damned apartheid policy, to the warm embrace of democracy. Thanks goodness. Nelson Mandela stood like David against Goliath nature of apartheid regime and won. Black South Africans were craving for freedom. All of a sudden the freedom came literally overnight. The joyfull difference was in Frederick de Klerk’s unconditional acceptance of dismantling apartheid policy and joining hand with all South Africans to nurture democracy. Good for him otherwise, he could have been swept off his feet by wind of change that rapidly blew across South Africa. Nelson was a man driven by destiny like Joseph in Egypt until he achieved his dream of freedom for all in South Africa.
On the mundane or physical realm, he was a freedom fighter who did not fear to die for what he believed. To show his seriousness, he trained as a boxer, not that he wanted to be a prize-fighter. It was meant to symbolize his rugged determination to win the crown of freedom through series of jabs and pummeling into championship. A champion boxer must undergo rigorous training and relentless sparing partnership to build stamina and resilience. In addition, it involves a lot of self-denial and unyielding visualizing the glorious dawn which was manifest in his life before passing on to glory. To God be the glory for the life of PAPA Nelson Mandela.