Celebrating a Global Icon- Nelson Mandela
‘Courage may be the most important of all virtues, because without it one cannot practise any other virtue with consistence’- Maya Angelou
Tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance builds character. The life of Nelson Mandela is widely celebrated around the world for his determination and persistence in seeking liberation, justice and equality for his people. True liberation is one that is built on the need to bind every individual, culture and/or group and requires the participation and determination of everyone to eradicate barriers that prevent some groups to live in harmony with others and achieve their best in life without being discriminated against.
Over recent weeks the former South African Leader has been in a critical condition in hospital and is said to receive intensive care for health issues triggered by a lung infection. Though his health is deteriorating, the anti-apartheid leader remains an image of strength, courage, hope and perseverance. Mandela is to many people like myself a conqueror of a revolutionary hate. He fought for a simple but powerful truth: no individual has the right to take dominion over another, especially on the basis of skin colour. Despite being in a society that functioned on hate and oppression he chose to refuse to be a product of that environment. It is incredible how many individuals around the world today still identify Mandela as a major inspiration of courage and with the recognition of the International Nelson Mandela Day, he will be remembered and celebrated for several generations to come.
Africans who are a minority in Australia may need to focus on carrying out the same determination that Mandela teaches us to address the issues that may cause any form of oppression, including racial discrimination. We always hear on the news, amongst our peers, family and/or friends about the racial attacks people are faced with on a daily basis directly or indirectly. As we celebrate the legacy of Mandela let us remember to support policies and practices that address disadvantages of any kind, because at the end of the day liberation is not for one group only but for all, including for the oppressors who are often liberated from their hatred of the oppressed.
Africa Media Australia (AMA) has taken the initiative to celebrate the International Mandela day in Melbourne and everyone from any background is invited to join the celebrations. This is an amazing opportunity for people to immerse in the diversity of the African ambiance in Melbourne with dance, music and other performances and, even more importantly, to ignite the support of a continuous determination towards service to humanity, following on the steps of Mandiba, the African hero who inspired the whole world.
By Natasha Mashakada