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SUBJECT: Nelson Mandela Back to Subjects
Jun 13 2013
at 6:20 AM
As we all know, Nelson Mandela’s strenght is diminishing. His health situation has been going back and forth these days. Let’s hope he will, but he might not make it this time. Well, he has the age of the very wise. He is very very wise. Nelson Mandela is one of the heroes of our time, of any time. Just think of what he endured during so many years and what he has achieved after that. All for justice, all for peace, all for mankind. He is truly a hero. I believe that when we die that’s it, no afterlife, no heaven, no hell for that matter (there’s enough hell in real life for many). We just kick the bucket. Well, let’s keep Nelson Mandela in our thoughts for as long as we live. May his spirit live on. But for now, let us keep our fingers crossed he will stay on this earth a little longer.
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Dec 09 2013
at 5:43 PM
Bookmark and Share It was very hard to hear about this great man’s passing. I was lucky enough to be invited to South Africa last year for the Cape Town Jazz Festival along with three other North American journalists. The trip was sponsored by South Africa Tourism, so in addition to the two days of the festival, they took us around SA for a total of 12 days, making it a two-week trip, if you add in the travel days. Three days in Johannesburg, six days in Cape Town and three in the Kruger National Game Reserve. While in Cape Town, we visited Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned for the majority of his 27 years in jail. The tour guide was an ex-prisoner himself, and our guide in J-Burg was also an ex-prisoner, a victim of the "no charge" law that allowed people to be arrested without charge if they didn’t have their papers, and for up to a max of nine months. I was also fortunate that, while in J-Burg, we visited the Apartheid Museum and there was a Mandela Exhibition going on. What struck me most about the trip was how resilient these people were/are. Most people treated the way they were - and on Robben Island, political prisoners were actually treated worse than rapists and murderers - they were in the max security area, while rapists/murderers were in medium security. Medium security also meant things like better food - the political prisoners had virtually no protein in their diets, and everything was cooked in salt water from the sea...if you’ve not seen it, you truly cannot imagine what it was like. But visiting Robben Island and seeing the size of the cells, the room where new prisoners spent their first nights - a huge room where everyone slept on the floor with no mattresses, and where the guards would, for fun, sic some of the guard dogs on the prisoners, just to scare’s just unbelievable the inhumanity. It’s been considered second only to WWII and the Holocaust, and visiting, it’s easy to understand why. But the resiliency - prisoners at Robben Island who talked of escape were discouraged from doing so by other prisoners; instead, they used their time there to chart out an apartheid-free South Africa, even as people like Mandela went nearly blind from working in the lime pits, where the reflection of the sun was so bright that after he was released, he had some real vision issues, some of which could be resolved, others not. And yet, through all that, he remained positive, looking for a solution that would someday lead to what they have now. Is it perfect? Hardly. But it’s a country in transition, as they try to deal with things like, for example, the huge illiteracy problems amongst blacks who grew up during apartheid and were not taught to read. Anyway, all this to say that having visited South Africa only made Mandela’s accomplishments all the more powerful. We all wonder how things will be when we are dying; I wonder how it must be to know that , in your life, you didn’t just change things for a few people around you, you actually changed the world. RIP Mandela; you’ve worked long and hard, and you deserve it. Some photos, for those interested, can be found here:
Dec 08 2013
at 9:48 AM
Bookmark and Share CBS Sunday Morning had a great segment on Mandela this morning. What an incredible man!
Dec 06 2013
at 11:59 AM
Bookmark and Share Yes we were blessed to live and share this planet with such a special person RIP
Dec 06 2013
at 8:49 AM
Bookmark and Share As we all know by now, matter can neither be created nor destroyed...may Nelsons spirit of peace and forgiveness resonate through through the 7 billion people left here on earth. His spirit mingles with those dolce alto sax Charlie Parker lines and the effervescent melodies of the first piano player Wolfgang Mozart...enjoy the have earned your place. A true human being.
Dec 05 2013
at 9:01 PM
Bookmark and Share A truly extraordinary human being. Rest in Peace!
Jun 17 2013
at 4:58 PM
Bookmark and Share Djbinder, thanks for sharing your experiences.
Jun 14 2013
at 10:08 PM
Bookmark and Share I was lucky enough to be invited to South Africa last year for Cape Town Jazz Fest, but they brought us for 12 days (not including travel). Spent a little over two days in Johannesburg, six in CT and almst three in a game reserve. Saw Robben island, where he spent many years imprisoned, with an ex-inmate doing the tour. Heavy, to say the least, but that and the apartheid museum in Johannesburg, where we were,lucky that a Mandela exhibition was going on, really brought iit home. Also meeting people like our guide in Johannesburg, who was imprisoned for nine months under the no charge law, tortured for info and yet, 30 years later is strong, positive and resilient. I think what struck me most about the trip was, in fact, the resiliency and lack of bitterness. There are still problems, of,course, but it’s a country heading, overall, in the right direction and while there are many heroes in the history of South Africa, certainly the man who will stand above them all as the one who really made change happen was Mandela. When we were there - there were four of us invited - one of our discussions, one evening, was about how would it feel to be someone who knew he had literally changed the world? He is.....and will a significant part of the history of the 20th century, that’s for sure but while I thought I understood things before the trip, being there, and seeing the positives and negatives of a country in transition put everything in a completely different context.
Jun 14 2013
at 8:26 PM
Bookmark and Share Thank you, Jack.
Jun 14 2013
at 9:50 AM
Bookmark and Share thehague - Honorable and respectful feelings about a truly Great man. I’ve always been impressed by how you express yourself here. Mr Mandela would appreciate your feelings. Thank you for the post. Peace, Jack Hetherton
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