MORGAN Freeman, quoting musician Peter Gabriel, was speaking for multitudes when he said: "If people were to be asked who would they prefer to be the father of the world, it would be Nelson Mandela."
His 91st birthday, marked Mandela Day, moved all who had a heart to release the good that lives in each one of us to heal the world.
The starting point of healing is no remote business of other people. It starts with you and me. Doing good is as close as where we live, grow, learn, work, worship and die.
For the living days of our lives to be worthwhile, it is not asking too much of us to brighten the corners wherever we are.
This can be as simple as allowing a mother to rock her newly born to sleep, putting a smile on the face of that child, and making childhood as bright in dreams as wakefulness.
Brightening the corner can also be as complicated as enlivening the consciousness of the oppressed to take matters into their liberating hands by removing tyrants that condemn them to a miserable existence.
To survive miseries,the Supreme Being has blessed his creation with the perceptive ability to find a reason to resist all else that negates one's humanity, freedom and peace.
Were such perceptive ability absent in God's creation, there would be no hands to show or Mandela to think of as the father of the world.
To know Mandela is to acknowledge that he is the product of his oppressors as much as his liberators. The 67 of the 91 years of his celebrated life are no less than a theatre in which the tragic drama of men and women's inhumanity to fellow beings finds epic illustration.
To Mandela the ruling tyrants were not the unassailable authors of his people's unhappy fate.
Living in a society in which there was freedom for some and not for others needed more than a prayer to resolve.
How on earth some people considered their humanity to be dependent on the dehumanisation of others led to circumstances out of which freedom fighters were born.
With the law firmly on the side of the oppressors, justice sadly became a loser. Mandela was thrown into Robben Island and his identity reduced to prison number 46664.
The world then did not care for as long as it was profitable to do business with a country in which the majority did not matter.
Had the people given in to the terror of their subjugation, Mandela would have been lost to us and the world as nothing more than a number.
If the picture I paint, to former oppressors, makes me an unforgiving sinner, the devil need not bother fetching me since I will voluntarily make the trip to face up to the flames that burn in hell with the truth that I know intact to meet my ashy ending.
Were the truth to rise from the ashes to fight another day, to tell the story of what Mandela means to the struggling people of the world, you will not find me knocking on heaven's door for admission because I will be content that there is no better place for the will of God to prevail than on earth.
Were the heavens to insist on my admission still, then I will know the truth I lived for was worth fighting for. And if it would help to heal the world, add my voice to Gabriel's and Freeman's calls for Mandela to be named as the father of the world. Happy birthday, Madiba.