Thursday, 11 November 2010

One Man.

"One of the most difficult things is not to change society but to change yourself" ~ Nelson Mandela.

Last night as I lay in bed, I started to watch a movie about Nelson Mandela. It was called "Goodnight Bafana" it was a movie based on the memoirs of Nelson Mandela's prision guard and how their relationship turns from a racist guarding a "terrorist" to a friendship based on mutual respect.

It got me thinking...

I was 9 years old.
Every weekend we would be looked after by my Nana. As my Mum worked night shifts and was sleeping during the day, so we spent the weekends with my Nana. Usually we baked, played in her garden or went plane spotting with my Grandad. However, that day was different, instead of playing out we watched the television.

As I sat there wondering why we weren't allowed to play out my Nana called me over, I sat on her knee and we waited. I vividly remember her saying "You must remember this moment, it is so important in history. It is so important for everyone's future. You will promise me you will remember this.. won't you?" With innocent eyes, I promised her I would.

Only now, through the eyes of an adult, do I realise the significance of that moment. Only now, when I see the footage do I remember her words. Only when I went to visit Cape Town for myself observed the people, black and white, and saw how the inequalities still remain in their society. Only now when I went to Robben Island, The District Six Museum, and read the plaque outside the Town Hall from where he made his first speech, do I see the impact one man can have on his country and the world. Still I couldn't help but wonder...Why such a small plaque for such I momentous speech?

Friends, comrades and fellow South Africans. I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.

Nelson Mandela.

"Nelson" being a name given to him by his white school teacher.
He is loved above all other throughout Africa.
His real name Rolihlahla means "to pull a branch of a tree" or "troublemaker".
Apt I think.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, you've taught me something here. :)


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