My personal view about Mandela
For me, Mr. Nelson Mandela is the last of African leaders who sacrificed everything for the liberation of Africa. I know, there will never be another one to equal or even come close to Mandela! His contribution was selfless and not for self-gratification. He gave all a person could give for the whole continent. Through him all the other freedom fighters, who were imprisoned with him were remembered. Mandela was the face of South African liberation struggle!
What Madiba means to my family
I can only tell it this way; my family has come to appreciate Madiba through his writing. He has put his life experience in all the books he has written and will be there for all who can read. Whenever I travel and have some spare change, I like to buy books in duty free shops in airports because I find them cheaper. Always my first choice is a Mandela book. I have collected as much of his writing as possible. When my children, who are young and are learning, face what I have come to call, ‘A very different version of our struggle for independence and what our freedom fighters went through’; I will give them Madiba’s books to read. “It is good that my children like to read books”; all the time I have given them these books, they come back to me and they confess that, “True, their version of history of our struggle for independence is different and diluted!” So for my family, Madiba will forever be a teacher who will speak to them through his books.
What Madiba means for my country
If you know the liberation struggle for independence in South-Central Africa, you will appreciate the fact that Zambia got independence earlier than many other countries. And that our First Republican President, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda was committed to supporting the liberation struggle for the remaining countries in the region; Zambia became a refuge for many liberation movements including the ANC of South Africa. Nelson Mandela came to Lusaka, Zambia; the first country he visited after coming out of prison; to greet the people of Zambia and to acknowledge Zambia’s support for the liberation of South-Central Africa. Madiba met President Kaunda; and every Zambian celebrated with South Africans for Madiba’s life and our liberation. Zambians were humbled and honored for such a gesture from such a Great Son of Africa!
Mandela to me comes out as one man who has defied all odds to become South Africa’s first black president! What is even more is that he let go of the reigns of power at a time when many people could have expected him to start consolidating his hold on power!
I admire his spirit of not dwelling on the past but hoping for a better future for all.
Many Zambians admire and appreciate our first Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda’s role in introducing such an iconic figure to us as the two great men collaborated to end unfair rule in South Africa. It is no coincidence that both men have been honorary Chairs of Africare!
– Elizabeth Simwawa