“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela
It was February 1990,I was in Primary four (4). It was not yet break period nor closing time, I remember vividly as a primary school pupil, so it was un-usual when suddenly we heard our school bell ring, hurriedly we picked up our books and bags and went to the open space where we had our devotions before the start of classes daily.
Our headmaster and some teachers were laughing loudly in circles, finally the headmaster in his baritone voice announced that school was closed for the day and that Nelson Mandela has just being released after 27 years in prison.
As a little boy, I was very inquisitive and I read anything in print I laid hands on including newspapers.
I remembered his name and how we sang ‘free Mandela’.
What I couldn’t understand was why a man released from prison in far away South Africa could send us home before the close of school.
A few more inquiries, I was briefed on the sacrifice and price he had paid.
I was drawn to him from that moment and I read as much as I could about him and followed him up till death.
There is no controversy, there will never be another Nelson Mandela. Not in Africa.
He was the greatest.
He did a single term as President of South Africa and resisted every attempt to make him seek re-election despite the fact that he had spent the most productive part of his life in prison for the same cause.
A very rare trait in Africa where most of her leaders would rather die or prefer to be disgraced out of office.
Today, the world stood still for Nelson Mandela, not for how much he amassed, but for his legacies.
To the Nigerian public office holders that have looted the country blind and stashed away funds for their fourth unborn generation and beyond in a manner Karl Max describes as ‘primitive accumulation of wealth’, I got just one word for you.. ‘…riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.’ PROVERBS 27:24
Don’t just join the rest of the world to celebrate the life of Mandela, also do well to emulate him so you can also be celebrated in death.
Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela.
You came, you saw and you conquered.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters