18th July – Madiba’s birthday. 93 years old today.
I would find it hard to name a political leader who comes close in stature to Nelson Mandela. He is 93 today and I wish he was 43 and that South Africa and the world had another fifty years of his wisdom, kindness, strength of leadership and intellect. The Apartheid government robbed all of us of him for 27 years – unforgivable. They would have done well to listen for just a minute or two to some of the things he has said.
“No one is born hating another person because of the coloor of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” (Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom)
He has called on people to spend 67 minutes of their day today doing good for others – in memory of the 67 years he has given to the struggle for democracy and human rights in South Africa. No better man to issue that call.
Here is one of my favourite pictures of him, it appeared in Drum magazine and the image is now held in Bailey’s African History Archive.