A Farewell To a Leader: Nelson Mandela and Faith in Humanity


Nelson Mandela
Courtesy of Festival Karsh: http://flic.kr/p/5CFKux

Update:  December 15, 2013

The weather was cloudy and with the temperatures of 75 F for the funeral ceremony for Nelson Mandela. A last good-bye with South African icon of the recent past took place at the small village of Qunu. Located within the Eastern Cape province, Qunu was a home village of Mandela where he is buried.

Family members, world leaders and citizens pay final tribute at the state funeral to deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela on December 15, 2013, gathered inside the big tent on Mendela’s family compound decorated with 95 white candles that symbolized years of his dedicated life. In the last farewell to the South African leader before the beginning ceremony at the state funeral army guards members marched in formation. The casket with Mandela’s body passed the dusty road to the village of Qunu where Madiba grew up.

“Nelson Mandela was our leader, our hero, our icon and our father as much as he was yours,” Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said, regaling mourners with tales of a secret visit Mandela made in 1962 to Dar Es Salaam to gather support for the African National Council, reports CNN from Qunu and Mandela’s funeral. Guests of Africa’s continent countries shared their common opinion on Mandela’s importance in the recent history of South Africa. “I think all of us will agree today the person who lies here is South Africa’s greatest son,” said Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy president of the ruling African National Congress in a statement published on the CBS online news site.

One of Mendela’s 18 grand children spoke during the funeral in Qynu. Nandi Mandela recalled on the considerable capability of Madiba to tell the stories with great sense of humor. She spoke he needs to go peacefully and to join his ancestors after he finished an important race of his life.

In the world of constant change, enormous flow of information and reckless events around the Earth, inspirational models of world leaders examples could restore believe in the humanity and people’s action. One of those leaders is Nelson Mandela whose life inspired not only people on unity in South Africa, but also motivated civil rights movement in many parts around the world. Mandela’s legacy of someone who united its countryman with a spirit, and personal actions cannot be set under question even though some of the world nation’s presidents, premiers or leaders do not attend to his funeral.

In addition to this, Mandela’s importance is not arguable for the history of world and South Africa as he was a leader who challenged Apartheid. Mandela’s wisdom and believes in the humanity could inspire further generations, especially in the time of rapid technological development and reshaping of basic values of humanity.

After the news that Mandela passed away due to the worsen health in the past years, various media published some of his statements, wise quotes and idea he believed in. One of those sentences is that: “A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that along they are being directed from behind.” This quote maybe explains the basic of Mandela’s guiding philosophy to lead and search for a precocious solution for the issues his country faced over the past.

As an example, in the PBS Frontline online portrait The Long Walk with Nelson Mandela, authors of this profile stress that Mandela was not supportive of any kind of violence and remain committed to his non-violent approach to solve society persisting problems. The time he spent in the prison, Mandela used to shape his opinion and to outline the ideas how to bring in peace different tribes and how to deal with enormous violence due to the segregation issues. Therefore, Mandela’s example of leadership shows that to heal a nation is the process that needs voracious activities in creating solutions without using the means of violence.

Mandela fearlessly confronted status quo of his society and succeeded to open processes of understanding and equality in South Africa. Mandela was a leader who believed in humanity and in Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-violence as a method to meet the goals. Mandela’s unselfish trust and believes that education foster change is an example of the faith in people who face everyday challenges of distorted values.

South Africans, guests, politicians, celebrities and other world leaders paid tribute after Mandela’s death on December 5, 2013. In 10 days of farewell ceremonies many expressed their respect to the wisdom Mandela left to South Africa.

Related Articles:

Think Progress’ Alyssa Rosenberg brings to the readers a reading list for Nelson Mandela’s Legacy.

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