I am completely flabbergasted at the fact that our beloved Madiba have never received an individual Person of the Year award! In 1993 he was co-recipient as Peacemaker with Yassar Arafat, F.W. de Klerk and Yitzhak Rabin. As far as I am concerned he should be knighted and receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for all that he has done.
In his lifetime he has endured a lot of pain and suffering, yet he stood up for the dust and came out triumphant. There is a lot to be said about him and whether you love him or not (which I can’t see possible unless you are still stuck in a racist frame of mind) you have to agree that he has been instrumental in turning this country around.
I still remember his release and the first democratic elections. I grew up not knowing about the atrocities of apartheid, until my stepfather came along. My grandparents loved “the help” and treated them like family. My stepfather on the other hand was a racist through and through. We were dragged along to AWB meetings and Kommando camps. I think it is out of sheer defiance of his views that I actively decided to not be racist. At the first democratic elections I was too young to vote and remember how disappointed I was that I could not vote for him. When he lifted the 1995 World Cup I don’t know whether I cried because we had won or if it was because he had the honor to be there.
Our Madiba is not doing well and, I am sorry to say, I don’t see him making it through this year. I wish he could live on forever, but it is time to let him go. He is not a relic that we can hang onto.
It is a sad thing that his family is desecrating his legacy by bickering and in-fighting over who should have the rights to artwork, etc. What a shame. Unfortunately they have become so aware of the fame that goes with the name, that they have forgotten his work and what he stood for.
It is time for the nation to reflect on what Madiba had in mind for us. I shudder to think what his thoughts are on where the nation is now.
Make Madiba Person of the Year before it is too late. Give him the honor while he is still around so he may see the fruit of his work. South Africa, let’s remember what he had in mind for the country and live towards those ideals.
Hamba Kakuhle Madiba. Ndiyabulela!