A great soul taken by time


HARARE – Wananchi, there are times that time itself just lands an inexplicable blow to your tender being, it stuns you, it paralyses you, it lives you gasping for the meaning of life.

And you then shout, like a drowning man “why, why ,why?”

So it was in the evening of December 5 2013, that we were wrenched out of a course mundane existence and reminded firmly of the worthlessness of our worthless lives.

Time did that. So easily.

It uprooted the giant among us. The root of roots. He who was, he who is now gone.

The very special one .The unique one. The humble one, the inspiring,the inspired.

Once in a while, but rarely these very special individuals are thrown on this fallible universe.

They are not special because they are perfect. On the contrary they are ordinary humans with all the warts and pimples of the worst amongst us.

But they are special because in their simpleness,their ordinariness they go on to do the most superhuman of all feats. Their sacrifice, their conviction, their determination, their courage and their strength dwarves all we know.

In the end they just bamboozle us with the brilliance of their feats, and the magnitude of their achievements.

We are left in awe. We are left stunned. All we can do is to thank the almighty for having given us the privilege of breathing the same air that they breathed.

So it is with Madiba as with a few others before him.

Rare gems, rare souls, rare lives.

So the great one is gone.

He who lived virtually nine lives. Multiple lives of grandeur, of pain Nelson Mandela the little boy ,born of royal parentage in a little village called Qunu ,in the heart of Khosaland.

Mandela the determined student who against all odds became a lawyer.

Mandela the lawyer running the first black partnership in South Africa with the  great Oliver Reginald Tambo.

Mandela the lover, the father, and yes the sampler, the adventurist.

Mandela the radical activist, who forms the ANC Youth League and shakes the foundations of a then very tired and exhausted ANC.

Mandela the ultra revolutionary who recognises the impotence of a peaceful unarmed struggle against apartheid and forms Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Mandela the fugitive, who spends years organising and fleeing from the police across the length and breath of South Africa before he is caught at a farm on the outskirts of Joburg.

Mandela the accused, and his famous closing address at the Rivonia Trial.

Mandela the prisoner and the fascinating tales of  life at Robben Island.

Mandela the lecturer, lawyer and advocate at Robben Island “university”

Mandela the author, busy sculpturing the manuscript of The Long Walk to Freedom which were brilliantly smuggled out of prison by Marc Maharaj.

Mandela the secret negotiator and secret leader of the ANC.

Mandela the free prisoner, and the leader of a transitional society with F W de Klerk.

Mandela the president, the diplomat, the nation builder.

Mandela the icon, the global leader. One could go on.

The point is none of us can stay that long in the struggle and be so ever strong and remain unwielding and principled.

None of us can stay that long under the most appalling of incarcerations and remain without bitterness and rancour.

None of us can be made to suffer this long and still have the decency and wisdom of going on with life.
For many none could ever have had the power to forgive and embrace the future without cursing the painful past.

This truly was no ordinary man.

This truly was an aberration, A Black Swan,that rare occurrence, that freak occurrence.

He puts to shame the little imbeciles  and tin pot dictators pretending to run Africa.

The little gangsters who hated him for he reminded  them constantly of their own  insanity,their own mediocrity .their own impotence,their own banditry.

They will gather next Sunday to wish him farewell in Soweto.

They are not fit to say his name.

From the Wananchi, we can only say, thank you, merci ,obrigado, arigato, twalumba loko, zikomo.


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