A man dies. A globe mourns. Nelson Mandela lived an enormous life. The impact he made in South Africa will resonate through time in a way that few others have. It seems unsurmountable to eulogise this great man in a single blog post so we’ve asked everyone in our Drive South Africa team to write down some of their favourite Madiba quotes or memories.
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” - Nelson Mandela
"It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela
Madiba has the ability to make bad people do good things, he brings the best out of us and that is what he wanted us to do, to be better people.
It's a short two minute walk from my parking garage on Long Street to the Drive South Africa offices on Hout Street in Cape Town's city centre. While strolling to the office this morning, lost in my thoughts of Madiba's passing, his words "Never, never, and never again" sprung to mind.
Just as these words echoed through my head and my heart, I was snapped out of my daze, by the face of the very man we all honour today.
Above: The painting of Nelson Mandela I saw on my way to the office
With a mixed sense of sadness and joy, I smiled.
Madiba, we will never forget you. We are honoured to have lived through a time in a country with such a forgiving, gracious and humble leader.
Rest in Peace, Madiba.
One should rejoice in the life he, Nelson Mandela, lead and strived to give all his people in South Africa. We should not mourn the loss of his body, as his spirit is in us all. The man and what he stood for, will survive as long as we keep his memory and example with us.
"It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world." - Nelson Mandela
VIVA MADIBA TATA VIVA
Although we mourn Mandela's passing, we should celebrate his life too. He taught us the value of humanity and leadership and that none of us are free until we're all free. Now that he's gone, all of us should remember his words: "To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
As a young South African, I was born just before the 1994 elections. I was too young to fully understand Apartheid and what those people who were affected by it went through. That’s why this quote from Madiba always captured my attention:
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
The youth of today have no excuses. Mandela opened the gate for South Africa, now we need to guide ourselves in the right direction. His passing is sad, but we should also see it as a celebration of an amazing life and a wake-up call for our country’s way forward.
Madiba, I will always remember the compassion you showed to children living with HIV and AIDS. You shared your support, warm smile and accommodating lap with them as if you were their father, and not their president. Thank you for showing South Africa how to lead with heart and not ego.
Tata Madiba, you live-on in the hearts of your rainbow nation.
My fondest memory of Madiba has to be experiencing his presence at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final and watching him lift the 1995 RWC trophy. Every time he made an appearance he had the ability to unite the people of his beloved country. May he rest in peace knowing he has changed the lives of so many people, not only in South Africa, but around the world. I know he has changed mine!
If it weren’t for Madiba leading South Africa into democracy and racial equality, my wife and I might never even have met. Apart from that a visit to Robben Island really put Mandela as a person into perspective for me. The quarry, the small cell, the terrible treatment. To come out of that as a peacemaker is truly remarkable.
Above: People of Cape Town lay flowers to mourn the death of Mandela
All over the city, people, churches and organisations are responding. Groups of people are singing in the streets. Churches have flowers and pictures as tributes and the Grand Parade is being readied for a gathering tonight.
Above: Cape Town's streets are lined with tokens of appreciation for the life Mandela led
All over the world companies like Google and Microsoft are adding messages to their own websites, as tribute to the life Nelson Mandela led.
May the spirit of Madiba live forth in us all.