We could be carbon copy of Mandela
NEVER has the world seen such an icon as Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. And never has it eulogised one in the way it looks up to our Madiba.
Indeed, South Africa should be taking a bow.
For as the world celebrates Madiba's 93rd birthday and pledges 67 minutes to doing good, all South Africans, especially those who are supposed to have taken the baton from him, should emulate his deep humanity.
We pray they will change to "We" this quote from Madiba: "I (We) stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people.
"Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me (us) to be here today."
In his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Address in December 1993 Mandela said:
"We speak here of the challenge of the dichotomies of war and peace, violence and nonviolence, racism and human dignity, oppression and repression and liberty and human rights, poverty and freedom from want.
"In front of this distinguished audience we commit the new South Africa to the relentless pursuit of the purposes defined in the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children.
"The reward of which we have spoken will and must also be measured by the happiness and welfare of the mothers and fathers of these children, who must walk the earth without fear of being robbed, killed for political or material profit, or spat on because they are beggars.
Burden of despair
"They too must be relieved of the heavy burden of despair they carry in their hearts, born of hunger, homelessness and unemployment.
"The value of that gift to all who have suffered will and must be measured by the happiness and welfare of all the people of our country, who will have torn down the inhuman walls that divide them."
If our leadership can drink from this well of wisdom then:
- No South African should be homeless, hungry and illiterate in this land of plenty. We would be ashamed to have so much when our neighbours have nothing;
- Black Economic Empowerment would not be the preserve of the connected and politically powerful; and
- Our leaders would eat, sleep and dream of making the lives of all South Africans better.
Then, and only then, can we give Madiba an un forgettable birthday present. Our nation would be a carbon copy of our Constitution.