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Posts tagged ‘Apartheid in South Africa’

Alveda King: How I Failed Nelson Mandela.

Alveda King
Alveda King

At the passing of Nelson Mandela, I am acknowledging that he was a humanitarian who gave his life to ending apartheid in South Africa and human racism on this planet.

His efforts to do so, especially when he was a young man, certainly included horrendous acts of violence. He and his wife were “vigilantes for freedom.” Their methods of warfare were designed to match and overpower the inhumane tactics of their oppressors. President Mandela was jailed for many years for his “war crimes.”

Young Nelson and Winnie Mandela were radical rebels and following very much in the philosophy of, say, a Malcolm X, who said we must obtain freedom “by any means necessary.”

When I was a young civil rights freedom fighter, we had to deal with Alabama Gov. George Wallace. He was a virulent monster of a man who approved the lynching, burning and bombing of African Americans during those days. I lived in “Bombingham,” where our family home was bombed by hateful people who didn’t want black people to be free.

There are pictures of historical accounts of George Wallace standing right there and saying that he hated people if they had black skin or brown skin. And he wanted to keep us out and called us bad names. But Jesus Christ came into his life, and he repented, and he said that he was wrong.

There was another one, Bull Conner, who reminds me of the same hateful spirit that was driving Adolf Hitler. He lived as a terror, and he is remembered as a terror today. On the one hand, Wallace recanted. On other hand, Adolph Hitler was never jailed for killing millions of Jews, and his horrible eugenics and genocidal practices are alive today.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood considered Adolf Hitler to be her muse. Unsuspecting people have embraced abortion and killing contraceptives because the slick marketing campaigns of Hitler and Sanger are still alive today. I was once a victim of Planned Parenthood and was once pro-choice. I didn’t sanction the killing of millions of babies, but I did have two secret abortions. I later repented and now am a voice for the lives of babies and their mothers, the sick and the elderly.

There was another man, John Newton, who wrote the song “Amazing Grace.” He was a friend and mentor of William Wilberforce and William Penn. He was bringing black people—African people—transcontinental and bringing them to be sold into the slave trade. It was lucrative, and he was making money. It was horrible, and yet when the spirit of the living God got his attention, reminding him of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, he repented and wrote a song that says, “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.” A wretch like him, his life was transformed.

Again, I had abortions myself. I was pro-choice at one time in my life. I came to my senses. I repented and turned away from the lies. I was blind and now I see.

The apostle Paul was blinded as far as his mind and his actions were concerned when his name was Saul. And he killed Christians. He was there at the stoning of St. Stephen. And yet, on the way to Damascus, his physical sight was taken from him when he was confronted—when he was riding his donkey on the Damascus road. And he became one of the greatest apostles that the world has known and remembered, and we thank God for the ministry of apostle Paul.

Over the years, Mr. Mandela began to become seasoned; humility came into his life, and at 95 years of age, I believe he was a totally different man than the young man who was doing everything he could to ending apartheid but was giving back as good as he got or as bad as it was.

While he sanctioned abortion during his presidency, he was perhaps like me and millions of others who were once deceived into believing that abortion and harmful contraceptives would help our people. I wish I had told him the truth. I didn’t know the truth when I met him in the early 1970s. So I failed him. I didn’t speak to him about our babies.

What is happening now in the battle to end human injustice, to stop man’s inhumanity to man, whether we are women, men or little children, is occurring on a divided battleground. Some battle against racism, based upon skin color or class or rank. Some battle against reproductive genocide, and that is certainly appropriate as well, wherein we fight for the lives of the little babies in the womb, their mothers, the sick and the elderly and demand that they be treated with equality, justice, mercy and agape love. And then some battle against sexual perversion. That in itself also is a very important fight.

Now, if we can see that we are battling a three-headed hydra monster—racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion—and get to the heart of those matters and fight them all together with the understanding that we can overcome evil with good, then at the death of someone like a Nelson Mandela, some of us would not feel as though he should just be totally lambasted, ostracized, cast out of history and considered to be one of the most terrible people that ever lived.

And so I do acknowledge the work of President Nelson Mandela. He confronted apartheid, a serious evil during his lifetime. He did some things that were not good. And we pray that he had an opportunity to meet his Maker before he left the planet and that he was able to reconcile those differences.

I feel that I failed President Nelson Mandela because when I actually met him around 1970, when he was released and he came to America, he visited the Martin Luther King Center. I was pro-choice at that time—ended up having a second abortion and a miscarriage related to the harmful contraceptives and all of that.

But over the years, I became pro-life, after which I became repentantly pro-life. I wish now that I had reached out to President Nelson Mandela. I wish that in the 1990s, when he was signing legislation that was going to cause millions or at least hundreds of thousands of babies to be aborted, I wish I had gotten Maafa 21 to him and Blood Money to him. Of course, these films had not been produced at that time, but a little later they and many other great truth- and life-revealing films have been released.

I feel that I failed him by not reaching out to him and trying to get with him and sit down and have a talk about my transformation, how I came from thinking that it was OK to abort a child to knowing that it was wrong because that’s a sacred human life. I failed, but I pray that I don’t fail millions of others, and I pray that that message will continue to resonate across the globe.

So, I thank God for Jesus, for redemption, for an opportunity to acknowledge the good deeds of people and to pray and repent for not giving them information that I had that could transform their thinking, prick their hearts and cause them to include the unborn in their battles.


Alveda C. King is the daughter of the late civil-rights activist the Rev. A.D. King and niece of Martin Luther King Jr. She is also a civil rights and pro-life activist, as well as director of the African-American outreach for Priests for LifeClick here to visit her blog.

PRESS RELEASE : Emulate Mandela, Stop The Crocodile Tears-Afenifere Tells Political Class.

By Yinka Odumakin

Afenifere is not impressed in any way with the hypocritical tears of the bad and ugly of Nigeria‘s politics over the transition of the noblest African statesman of all seasons,Dr Nelson Mandela who passed on to immortality on Thursday at the age of 95.

Like the proverbial array of knives that surface the day the elephant falls,all manners of crooked politicians in Nigeria have churned out effusive praises and eulogies mostly crafted from hired pens on the life and times of the irrepressible spirit and worthy example to humanity who now  resides among the ancestors.

Without knowing it these fellows have turned the “celebration” of Mandela to an open trial and self-conviction as all they throw up about the great Madiba  are what they lack and the very reason why Nigeria lies prostrate at the intensive care unit of failed countries of the world .

We have seen how those who attempted to manipulate the constitution of the country to perpetuate their stay  in office and those who annulled the freest and fairest election in the history of the country are celebrating Mandela as the great democratic spirit who refused to seek a second term in office which he was constitutionally entitled to do.

Those who require extra lives to serve jail terms for their economic crimes against the people if justice flows in Nigeria now laud Mandela for spending 27 years of his life in gaol for the only “crime” of seeking freedom for his people.

We are being reminded of the many sacrifices Mandela made to give humanity to the oppressed blacks of South Africa by power merchants whose preoccupation is making life miserable for their own people and selling them cheap to all manners of interests worse than apartheid .

We are being aroused to celebrate the man who set post-apartheid South Africa on a democratic lane by vote thieves and anti-democratic forces who have turned the electoral process to a “do-or-die” affair.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the Nigerian political class(crass!) are fouling Mandela funerals with their odiferous emissions as the world reflect on the passage of this great son of Africa.

Rather than intruding into the assembly of bonafide mourners ,our politicians should bury their heads in shame for lacking the character and conviction of Mandela to serve the people with selflessness ,their lack of integrity and moral force to effect change and  their hedonist pursuits at the expense of the greatest good of the greatest majority which was the hallmark of Mandela’s public life .

They should close their eyes and imagine their own funerals and imagine how many genuine mourners would show up who were no contractors or political hangers-on.
Adieu the great Madiba ,may your tribe increase forever !

Yinka Odumakin,
National Publicity Secretary,


Rolihlahla: A Tribute To Madiba Mandela By Ugorji O. Ugorji.

By Ugorji O. Ugorji

President George W. Bush once reportedly said that in history we are all “dead.” But every now and then, someone emerges in our collective consciousness who we wish could live with us eternally. And every now and then some of them do in fact stay with us forever, even after their physical presence is no more. On December 5, 2013, President Zuma of South Africa announced that the great champion of humanity, Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela, who was later named “Nelson,” had joined our glorious and progenitor ancestors.

Every commentator has since yesterday erroneously referred to Mandela as South Africa’s “first Black” President. In fact, he was the first President of the now multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-religious African nation of South Africa, which the freedom fighters called and still call Azania. Every other national leader before his election in 1994 in that geographical expression was the head of an occupying gangster regime whose plundering, pillaging, rampaging and inhumane atrocities are better left undignified with mention as the world mourns Mandela.

My mother was celebrating my birth in 1964 when Rolihlahla was being sent to jail in South Africa. By 1981 I had arrived as a Freshman at the then Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) and immediately became part of the Black student community. My first involvement in an activist mode was my organizing and participatory efforts at the college in the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. Apart from protesting and petitioning for divestment in South Africa by US companies and pension funds that had shares in companies which did business with the racist regime of South Africa, we brought representatives of the Pan-African Congress and the African National Congress who were on observer missions at the United Nations in New York, to speak at our events on campus. And nothing inspired us in the Pan-African Student Society (which I founded), the Black Student Union and Utimme Umana La Voz Oculta Magazine (which I later served as Editor-in-Chief) at the college more than the knowledge that in prison was the physical and spiritual symbol and embodiment of the struggle for humanity in South Africa, Mandela. We needed him released unconditionally and led by Randall Robinson of Trans-Africa, we so demanded and protested.

By 1990 when Mandela was released from prison, we had overcome the lie and deception of “constructive engagement” and in a fashion reminiscent of the cradle spirits of his ancestors, Mandela became the forgiving glue that held the real nation together – a nation that only truly became one in 1994. Now that the glue has rested, one wonders what would become of the collective of peoples who called him “father of the nation.”

My concern, as often is the case when a freedom fighter passes on, is the recurring lessons in our history. Power, especially evil power, concedes nothing – not freedom, not human dignity, not equality or equity – without a demand and a sustained struggle. While Mandela became the symbol, many countless and unknown others paid much higher prices. And while many western nations and companies continued to exploit the resources of South Africa, the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro and our Cuban brethren helped our people reach a fait accompli with the surrendering forces of apartheid and their allies.

Today just about all former allies of the defeated apartheid regime celebrate Mandela. And therein lies another lesson for this and future generations – that in time all of our vilified, isolated, despised, and ostracized genuine freedom fighters become beloved, revered and celebrated icons. The true path to immortality is to live with, fight for and die for the oppressed, the maligned and the exploited, a choice that has always demanded great sacrifice and gumption.

And so Mandela lives in all who remain committed in the struggle for liberty, equality and equity. In a week or so we will bury “Nelson.” But long will live the spirit of Rolihlahla!

Ugorji O. Ugorji, Ed.D.

Executive Director, African Writers Endowment, Inc.


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

To Nelson Mandela By Legborsi Esaen.

By Legborsi Esaen

“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.

Legborsi Esaen
Port Harcourt


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013: Evidence Of Divine Grace And A Lesson For Africa By Kelechi Emmanuel Nwaigwe.

By Kelechi Emmanuel Nwaigwe

On 5/12/2013 that great man of South Africa and arguably the most revered global elder statesman of the decade passed on to a bigger glory. Through his life and many struggles the world has learnt and will continue to learn many lessons of hope, courage, humility, discipline, tenacity, patience etc. Also his life and time on earth reminds us of that dogged and unquenchable spirit in us all to achieve unimaginable things even in great adversity. And on the other hand it exposes the deception, greed and selfishness constantly exhibited by leaders especially in Africa of today.

It is almost unbelievable that this great mind of unimaginable magnitude is a son of Africa. Yes! Because this is a continent that over the past years has through its political elite taught the world a brand of negative leadership. A leadership of untoward accumulation of wealth at the detriment of their citizens. A leadership of rudderless purpose with a band of chop I chop cronies. A leadership of the glorification of corruption with impunity and a flagrant exhibition of rule for life mentality. The list is endless!

But in spite of these setbacks in African leadership of late, there is a reason to rejoice in the achievements of this great man. Especially because he is indeed a product of this same continent that other parts of the world never expect to produce anything good.

When I ruminate on the life of this colossus, I cannot but agree with Tunde Bakare that great minds have purposes but little minds have wishes. The moment a great mind achieves the purpose of his/her emergence, he/she steps aside because he/she clearly understands that he/she is human and may not know it all. As such they create room for other people to show-case their God given talents. But the contrary is the case for little minds because fueled by their ego and greed, they are pre-occupied with trivial and transient things of life to the detriment of the purpose.

When in the year 1994, after 27 years behind the bars, President Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa, many thought that just like so many African leaders, he would remain in power for life. But as a great mind that he is he chose to surrender power and its trappings the moment he achieved the purpose of reconciliation and the unification of South Africa after just one tenure. Today that singular act and the act of forgiveness he showed those that jailed him for 27 years makes him stand taller than any politician/leader of his time.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of many African leaders who at one time or the other had the opportunity to liberate their people but chose to chase vain glory. From the Mugabes of Zimbabwe to the Obasanjos of Nigeria the story remains the same. Me, me, me!

The raw evidence of the grace of God in President Nelson Mandela’s life was brought to bare when after serving 27 years in the harshest of conditions in the prison walls of Robben Island, he forgave the people that jailed him with unspoken brutality. And opened the door of genuine reconciliation in his beloved South Africa. The easier root would have been to run after the Apartheid regime masters and probably cook up trump charges to make them have a taste of the walls of a prison. But he showed humanity that forgiveness is the way to go thereby bringing to light what Jesus Christ did on the cross some 2000 years ago when he said father forgive them for they do not know what they do (see Luke 23:34). The truth is that President Mandela could not have achieved this fit by his share strength alone. Only the Grace of God could explain it. No wonder President Barack Obama while paying tribute to the late sage noted that Mr Mandela has achieved what many men could not achieve.

I submit that when we show courage and determination to do good, the super natural power of God shows up to subdue our human weaknesses and catapult us to great heights. All around us stories abound of ordinary men like you and me achieving great things.

Today, history has almost forgotten the masters and supporters of that terrible apartheid regime. In fact they are only remembered through the same man they persecuted. A man whom for 27 years they almost took away his life. But God is always true to his servants and just as he promised that the glory of the latter house will be better than the former, President Nelson Mandela’s latter life shone brighter than the former.

Again another evidence of the grace of God in his life is the restoration of his years that ‘the locust’ ate up (See Joel 2:25-27). He became the first black President of South Africa and latter a global Icon. Today, countries and world leaders who once tagged him a terrorist now sing his praise. What a testimony! Further, President Nelson Mandela in spite of the brutality his body suffered (e.g. tuberculosis, lungs infection, etc.) lived a long and fulfilled life of 95 years. What more could it be but the grace of God!


We are humans and one day must surely die and return to dust no matter how great we are. But the question is what legacy would we leave behind when that hour comes? It is not about how much you have in your Swiss bank account or how many concubines you have; neither is it about the many mansions you own but the value you added to the human cause during your life time. When it is all over, your sycophants will be nowhere to deceive the world about your work on earth. Indeed it will be laid bare for all to see. My friend you should pause and think about it!

President Nelson Mandela has talked the talk and walked the walk but in it all he reminded us that we are not infallible as humans but can achieve much if we try to make sacrifices. He made mistakes and of course cannot be said to be a saint but he triumphed over it all. It is now our turn as Africans to contribute our own quota to ensure that this sleeping giant-Africa rise. The responsibility to see this through is even higher for the ruling class and elite. Let us for once lay aside our selfishness and greed and make a little sacrifice for the good of all. History I am sure will remember us well.

-Kelechi Emmanuel Nwaigwe
London, United Kingdom.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Multicultural Faith Leaders Celebrate Nelson Mandela’s Life.


Nelson Mandela
Former South African President Nelson Mandela died Thursday. Here he’s pictured at his home in Johannesburg on Sept. 22, 2005. (Reuters/Mike Hutchings)

Nelson Mandela died peacefully at his home on Thursday, eliciting the attention of the pope, the president and multicultural faith leaders around the world.

“Nelson Mandela’s life embodied the idea of prophetic activism with an unquenchable thirst for justice,” says Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “His struggle for equality brought down one of the final strongholds of segregation and subsequently empowered an entire continent to overcome by doing justice and loving mercy. His life inspired us while his humble demeanor will continue to move us towards a more just and loving world.”

Alveda King, niece of the late Martin Luther King Jr., says Mandela paid a heavy price to stand against apartheid while campaigning for human justice and human dignity. His message still resonates though his weary, battle-worn body has gone the way of those gone before him.

“Long may we remember his courage, his fortitude and his gentle smile, none of which were ever tarnished during the years of his battles, oppression, incarceration and the restorative years following his release,” King says. “Ninety-five years of life is a fitting testimony to the strength of character of this legendary statesman.”

King went on to say that Mandela now takes his place in history. She says the great world leader will be missed.

“A portrait hangs in my home. In the frame, poised between his fellow champions Martin and Malcolm, Mandela smiles while Martin is solemn and Malcolm is stoic. To be able to radiate joy in times of conflict is a gift,” King says. “To experience their three different expressions, the combined epitome of the human dream of freedom, is simply amazing.”

Pope Francis also paid tribute to Mandela and his struggle to forge a just South Africa on Friday.

“I pray that the late president’s example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations,” Francis said in a telegram to South African President Jacob Zuma, according to a Reuters report.

The wire service reported the Pope saying, “The steadfast commitment shown by Nelson Mandela in promoting the human dignity of all the nation’s citizens and in forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of nonviolence, reconciliation and truth.”

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary, wrote about the death of Mandela in his daily Dean’s Commentary on Friday.

“When the word of his death reached us, I knew that the world had lost a giant like it has not often seen,” Markham wrote. “He walked a ‘stony road’ for freedom. His was a life of sacrifice with 27 years in prison. His dignity and service led to the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa.

“He was truly the world’s moral compass. Compassionate resistance to colonial power was his way of being. Truly an elder statesman. He was embraced by the world—a man who struggled for us all. He was freed from prison once. Now he is freed from this earthly journey. A giant has left us.”


Nelson Mandela Burial Planned For December 15 – Huffington Post.


JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africans erupted in song, dance and tears on Friday in public and emotional celebrations of the life of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who bridged this country’s black-white divide and helped avert a race war.

Fellow anti-apartheid leaders like retired archbishop Desmond Tutu called for the 51 million South Africans to adhere to the values of unity and democracy that Mandela embodied. The tributes to Mandela that came from people across the spectrum showed that he had affected people deeply.

Read more at the Huffington Post website 


Nelson Mandela, Anti-apartheid Icon And Father Of Modern South Africa, Dies-CNN.

By Faith Karimi, CNN

Nelson Mandela endured 27 years in prison before becoming South Africa’s first president from 1994 to 1999. He remains an emblem of the fight against apartheid, the country’s system of racial segregation. Nelson Mandela endured 27 years in prison before becoming South Africa’s first president from 1994 to 1999. He remains an emblem of the fight against apartheid, the country’s system of racial segregation.



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