I’ve finished watching the last of the documentaries on celebrating ‘Nelson Mandela, One Hundred‘; I thought I knew all I needed to know about the man, about the country, about Apartheid, the tortures and the atrocities, but I was wrong.
This time around I realise just how close he was to all the saints we know and that probably (although not in my life time), he’ll be made a saint. I also learnt that my other idol, Maya Angelou died not too long after Mandela. I wondered if when she wrote the poem His Day is Done that some six months later, it would also apply somewhat, to herself.
His benevolence, tolerance and altruism reminded me that I still need to be more forgiving, to be a much better listener and more importantly, that it’s ok to have high standards, just as long as I realise to temper those standards when applying to people and situations.
What Mandela’s freedom did for me could almost be equated with being cleansed by the blood of Christ. If not for Mandela’s victory election, as a black person I would not have been able to live in South Africa and had all those incredible experiences. I am so grateful Nelson. Happy 100th and you should know, that we will never forget you.
There is nothing the apartheid government has not done to me. There isn’t any pain I haven’t known ~ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
I was talking to my husband this morning when I saw the banner running under the program on the TV. It said Winnie Mandela had passed away. This strong, defiant beautiful incredible activist is no longer with us. Her struggle had to be the toughest, fighting the oppressive apartheid system, immured in a jail cell and separated for years from her dearly beloved, the great Madiba – Nelson Mandela.
My slight contact with the Mother of the Nation was during the time I lived in Johannesburg in 1994. My husband and I owned a boutique in the Sandton area of Jo’berg and at some point Mrs Mandela visited the shop. Unfortunately I was not there but my manager was present. Another time when I almost was near is when we participated in a fashion show. The clothes from our boutique were used by the organisers to promote African wear and fashions. In fact, clothes were loaned from a number of shops.
Taking the clothes back stage to help with the models, I remember walking across the stage and someone calling out to me that Winnie is taking her place in the audience. I stopped to look. I could see in the distance, a woman wearing a long gown, her hair was a curly Afro and she was talking, smiling. When the lights went out and the show began, I took my seat in one of the front rows. It was a great show and I was pleased with the way our clothes were displayed and looked on the models. When the show had to come to an end, my manager went back stage to collect the clothes and I went to greet Mrs Mandela but when I got to where she sat, she had left.
Dear Winnie, you did what you came to do and made long-lasting achievements. You were truly a blessing to South Africans and will remain in their hearts forever. I offer my condolences to loved ones and know that your gentle soul now quietly rests.
Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer
I just learnt that Nadine Gordimer passed away yesterday. I admired her writing. Her book My Son’s Story was my introduction to South African literature. I was of the opinion that white writers could not write about black people and their experiences. But Gordimer proved me wrong. Whenever I read her novels, I’m not only overwhelmed by the accuracy in the depiction of her characters, but the truth as she sees it, no matter how cold it is! For those who supported Apartheid, her books could not have made comfortable reading. But I am happy for her presence and her immense contribution towards ending the struggle and that her soul should rest among all those other great souls who have recently passed.
In 2007 I wrote a review of Gordimer’s biography titled No Cold Kitchen. I know the author (Robert Suresh Roberts) received a lot of criticism as people were offended by it. But I do not believe that it was bad; I thought it fair and that it rightly praised Gordimer for her contribution to the removal of Apartheid in South Africa.
Mr Mandela, sadly, you have now left us. I want to thank you for all you have done for your people; for avoiding a civil war and allowing peace to reign. But I also know that if it were not for you, I would not have been allowed, as a black woman, to emigrate to South Africa in 1994. I had the pleasure of living in your beautiful country for two years, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
You will be missed and you will never be forgotten. Go and enjoy your well deserved rest and may the Almighty Father bless your wonderful soul.
I am running late. Just got back from a trip in Ghana, and whoa, it really was a busy and enjoyable experience. From going to Cape Castle, to Aburi botanical gardens and how could I forget Kakum National Park. The firework display on New Year’s Eve, at the hotel, was spectacular. I think just as good the one witnessed in Dubai.
Now back to everyday. One or two resolutions that I hope that I don’t break and that is to do The Artist’s Way without stopping or ‘breaking’. I started this book before and just got up to week 5 and then I stopped! Can’t remember why but I never got back to it again. Now I’ve restarted (just completed Week One), I try to make myself be more conscious of what I have to do. There are some principles that the author (Julia Cameron) wants you to follow, so I have to do that. Let see how it goes.
The second resolution is to lose weight. Gosh, how many times have I promised myself this?? I’ve lost count. But I just hate how my body shape seems to have settled down and refusing to accept change, aided and abetted by myself of course! But I will try my hardest to lose this weight.
2011 was a tense ridden year for me; from problems that involve loved ones to problems with the State. But as my Pastor constantly tells me: The Almighty Father never gives us challenges that we cannot overcome. I guess there must some truth in that as I’m still here!
I hope and pray for a more positive time, to be more forgiving and understanding to others and for peace to be given more of a chance.
Happy New Year Everyone!
The Vuvuzela: ‘A primitive noise making device created by primitive people’. That’s what a blogger said from the Yahoo sports site!!
I’m not there in South Africa but I am watching the matches daily from my TV and really enjoying it! Yes, there is a bit of a din that emanates from the TV but it doesn’t drown the over excited commentator and of course, it cannot diminish the enthusiastic cheers from the crowds. Before a game begins there are all sorts of documentaries shown on the progress of the country and all the tribulations encountered. But you can’t feel but pleased that South Africa has come this far to point of surpassing countries like Nigeria and Egypt in hosting one of the greatest events ever!
Perhaps a bit of a compromise is needed here. Maybe the crowd could be asked to play their vuvuzela’s at certain times or perhaps only a certain amount could be allowed into the stadium. We know a compromise can be reached as I’m sure south Africa wants to be remembered in a positive light and not have their guests leave with dissatisfaction and an experience where there are not likely to want to visit that part of the world again. But I do not think South Africa deserves the negative racist comments that has hurled at them as a result. It’s a long time to wait another four years for this event to come around again. So let’s savour and enjoy and park the negatives in the waste bin.
So Eugene Terre-Blanche was assassinated. He was not killed because of some grand race war but at the hands of a disgruntled 15-year-old employee who was not given his wages on time. A 15-year-old Boy!! How embarrassing!! Is this what it came to for Mr. Blanche? Is this how his name will go down in the history books in years to come? Ag shame!
So what does the press try to do – reign in their favourite – Mr. Julius Malema, then accuse him of uttering some alleged racist comments in a song, and then hold him responsible for prompting this murder. For goodness sake, whatever next?
Yes, as I said elsewhere on this blog, Malema is a crude rough version of Malcolm X. Just like Malcolm, he is totally unafraid of whites and is keen to remove the fear and mystique of whites. And he does this by challenging issues no matter how undiplomatic he may be. He is there to cater for his people first before anybody else. So, understandably, he is totally unpalatable and unacceptable to whites but the grass-roots adore him. As awful as that may sound but that is the truth.
For the AWB to attempt some revenge attack either on the people responsible for ET’s death or randomly attack black people would only make them look pathetic and desperate. South Africa is a beautiful country and I very much hope that South Africa can progress in peace instead of spending its time sweating the small stuff.
I read the article A Firebrand Leader in the Making in today’s British Guardian. Before reading the blog, one of the bloggers inserted the YouTube clip which features the South African presenter Deborah Patta interviewing Julius Malema, leader of the ANC Youth league. I normally complain about how blacks are treated in the British media but viewing this clip, I’ve not come across anything as patronizing and contemptuous as this.
The presenter says in her intro that he is seen as a ‘buffoon’ and that it should be put to the ‘test’. Of course the whole point of the programme is for her to take the mick and to make him look a fool. The interesting thing is he comes across as a gentleman and does not rise to the bait.
Fine, he is not articulate (maybe English is not his first language!) and maybe he does not have a degree in Sociology so that he can give us a clear cut definition of class and where he thinks he belongs. But do we really expect him to get it 100% right! The white working class (British) moved out in droves to this new land in hope to emulate the lifestyles of their ‘betters’ in the old country but having lived in South Africa myself I was surprised, no shocked, in how the WWC lived in their big houses and pools with scared and anxious domestic staff. And yet the WWC managed to occupy management positions without having any qualifications whatsoever! Yeah maybe I was a tad jealous as I know occupying such positions back in the UK would have been impossible without qualifications so if you guys were able to get away with that, I don’t think it’s fair that you should expect much more from Malema.
What do you think of this story? As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, that I used to live in South Africa and always thought it dangerous to argue with whites as they were not used to dealing with ‘uppity’ blacks and could retaliate in a way that would not happen in the UK or the States. Friends of mine have been critical against the blacks who drank this ‘stew’ asking: are they that ‘docile’ that they should drink anything that looks suspicious? My response was blacks in this part of the world have almost been close to what I would call being ‘sedated’ when it comes to their approach to white people. I remember at times when blacks were spoken to by a white person they would always lower their eyes and never look into the white person’s eyes direct. But this disgusting incident should tell us volumes that South Africa still has an incredible long way to go.