A true example of how good triumphs over evil

Every living being or creature in this world, as we know it, is assigned a role, a purpose and- or direction long before the body is united with the soul.

Every living being or creature in this world, as we know it, is assigned a role, a purpose and- or direction long before the body is united with the soul.

My purpose in life is to find, instil and finally draw rare inspiration, amazing hope and eternal fulfilment from the worst case scenarios.

This is a daunting task - actually far more difficult to identify and to accept.

However, my life experiences have always, mostly without my own doing or influence, led to the the most tragic, paralysingly painful yet amazing stories of human triumph over tragedy.

I am talking about profound interaction with ordinary people in our country, mostly children, who have gone through intolerable pain yet live to tell their miraculous anecdotes without fear, favour or prejudice.

Mandisa Madikane is absolutely no exception.

She is one of the most forgiving, generous and shining icons of the triumphant human spirit that anyone will ever come across.

At the tender and unsuspecting age of six Mandisa was brutally raped by a power-mongering neighbour who lived opposite her own dwelling.

She was physically abused at gunpoint in Kliptown by an older man whom she trusted andregarded as a father.

After this horrendous and unforgivable act, she was threatened with violent repercussions, even death, if she "dared tell anyone" what had happened.

But Mandisa is made of stern stuff and was not born to cower before any cold and cruel master, no matter what.

She was not born to be crippled by imagined fears but to stand upright and strong and proud.

After all, she is an African diamond.

She refused to be silenced by a greedy idiot who was only interested in satisfying his selfish lust at the expense of the future of a child - a young and innocent girl.

With agonising tears in her eyes and blood flowing between her tiny legs, she stumbled to her home and told the elders what had happened.

As we speak the cold-blooded rapist has served 11 of a 15-year jail term for the brutal crime he committed against Mandisa.

Many years later, after a bout of endless ill-health, she was diagnosed as a person living with HIV.

This acquired knowledge, which often breaks the most powerful of people, which has silently maimed, killed, condemned members of the human race, was never enough to interfere with her role, direction or purpose in life.

Her smile is infectious, her beautiful eyes are blinding to a bruised man like myself.

Her presence has immensely boosted my own immune system, her charm has disarmed my own diagnosis and yours.

But I am not the only one who has been blessed to meet this angel. Ous Mantoa - Irvin Khoza's wife - brought her a pair of pyjamas and a blanket.

Tshidi of Malaika presented her with a motivational book and an autographed CD.

Mandisa will also receive a three- month supply of food parcels from Nangavhutshilo, a nonprofit organisation that is run by my mother.

Mandisa Madikane is worth far more. She can neither be bought nor sold - and she is a true daughter of the soil.

May God richly bless and keep her.