Saturday, 7 December 2013
The loss of Nelson Mandela is certainly touching the world and rightly so, certainly one of the immense figures of our modern age who influenced so many people and effected a massive change in his troubled homeland.
While visiting South Africa in 2010, I witnessed a nation still very much finding itself in terms of economic and social parity but from what I learnt from others who had lived under/with apartheid, even this 'imbalance' was a million years from that experienced a relatively short time before. In fact one of our party whom was making his first return to South Africa since those troubled times was quite emotional after chatting to, joking with and having photos taken with one of our young female guides stating that such open friendliness between white and black would just not have been possible and may well have lead to imprisonment or worse.
Sobering thoughts indeed and while difficult for us coming afterwards to fully understand we can all of course appreciate the difference Mandela made and he will of course be long remembered.
While not himself a Zulu - (Mr Mandela's father was a chief with the Thembu tribe, part of the larger Xhosa nation who along with the Zulus are probably the best known of South African's tribes) - I'm sure I can be forgiven for posting the above salute from a Zulu warrior.