HARARE – Madiba, you inspired us to believe and realise that freedom is possible in our life time. Yes, this life of ours.
You taught us to manage and condition anger into a moral force and to deflate bitterness into positive energy for human progress.
You taught us to be symbols of goodness for mankind and icons of the better and greater we can and should become for others.
Madiba, you reminded us to build a society in which non is exploited, terrorised or disadvantaged by another.
Mandela, you defined what we must do for the people, for our country and for future generations.
You echoed to us that, about our first day on earth.
We did nothing to shape it but about the last day on this planet.
It should be about not what we did for ourselves but for others and future generations to shape posterity.
In our own way, we must define what we can do for the great others born and yet to be born.Nelson, you said that we must love people deeply.
Love them affectionately.
You taught that we should continue to set an example of a meaningful and purposeful life creating amazing moments of remembrance for the greater many.
I appreciate you Madiba’s love for education.
You made me believe that organic intellectualism is the oxygen of development and democracy.
It is through education that a son of a peasant or worker can become the commander-in-chief and president of a nation. It is possible!
You did not forsake your rural home of Qunu. Because of you, Qunu is now on CNN, BBC and other international media houses.
Qunu is pronounced by every tongue, white and black.
More importantly, you remind us that more often than not, the single little you do for mankind extinguishes the multiple great things you do for mankind.
Madiba you told us that it is possible to be not just a hero of a lifetime but a hero of all time evincing that extraordinary things we do often build the extraordinary character out of us.
In the governing of the affairs of men, Mandela, you told us to be able to relinquish power and allow successors to take over.
Through you, we learnt that success without a successor is meaningless.
You motioned to us that you gain your humanity by making a positive difference to other human beings.
You showed us the generosity of spirit and power of forgiveness.
You made us believe that greatness is not a weapon to dominate but a tool to pollinate great fruits of leadership.
From you, we learnt that with freedom comes responsibility and with independence comes obligations.
Leadership is not an entitlement but a duty to serve and make a difference and leave.
A survey of the lives of other great leaders proves that more often than not, a father of a nation hardly becomes a real father of a family. You proved different.
You are the great man who took history in your hands and bent the arc of moral history toward justice.
You taught us that one need not be a saint but a sinner who keeps on trying.
You had your rough edges but they are far outweighed by your sharp and great doses of polished yet positive exuding of leadership. You were human after all. To err is human.
Because of you, I learnt that peace without freedom is tyranny, stability without justice is repression.
You reminded us that oppression is always an opportunity for heroism.
Dictatorship is a fertile garden for the germination of true heroes.
We now know that pacifism passivity and docility are moral crimes.
Mandela, you taught us that we are our own liberators. We are the first choice and last resort to any challenges we may be facing as a people.
We are our own answers to any national question.
We learnt from your great words and speeches.
We are richer from your excellent character and deeds.
We have a proud story from your colourful history.
You gave dignity to both the oppressor and the oppressed.
More so for the oppressor, because there is no dignity in oppression.
You taught us that the human heart was and is not designed by our God as a reservoir of bitterness and hatred.
You gave meaning to truth and reconciliation.
You convinced us that the human mind should not be an engine for oppression and injustice to others rather it is a gift from God to unleash our creative genius for the collective happiness/satisfaction of posterity and future generation.
From your journey, we know how to begin and end ours better.
From your thoughts, we can only but think better.
You have been that African star. Yes, the nearest and brightest star we have had with which we will not get lost.
You were the living testimony that with age comes wisdom.
In most of Africa‘s circumstances, age comes solo and alone so unclothed of dexterity.
Your heart had the aorta of forgiveness, the ventricle of justice, the pulmonary artery of freedom, the atrium of humility, the veins of sacrifice and coronary of democracy and regeneration.
Imbued with the ancient wisdom that the best riches are in the heart. We inherit those great riches for posterity and future generations. Madiba, you taught us the true value of humility …comprehending the fullest meaning of forgiveness.
You taught us to look beyond colour, gender and tribe.
Race and class should matter little in the determination and definition of one’s destiny.
The task of a genuine leader is to take people from where they are to where they ought to be.
You did exactly that.
In all this, let not our memory of our great heroes sink or be reduced into hopeless sentimentality and platitudes. We must celebrate their lives.
Revolutionaries don’t die. They simply transfer to another existence while their rich legacy subsist beyond the definition of time. Wish you a happy transfer Madiba.
Thank you Nelson. Thank you Madiba for making Africa a continent of heroes and land of global icons.
We are the continent of hope.
Thank you son of Africa for your legacy, example, the hope and great promise. You have been the light to an otherwise dark world.
Go well hero of heroes, leader of leaders!