Thursday, December 5, 2013 marked the date that warrior and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, ” joined our ancestors.” Afrikan/Black people all over the world mourned his passing. The legacy of Nelson Mandela will deem him as a true hero and deemed one of the most courageous persons of the 20th/21st Centuries.
He endured all types of indignities is the struggle against white supremacy in apartheid South Afrika . Due to his beliefs, he was imprisoned for twenty seven years at the infamous Robben Island Prison. That brutal time did not break him as he maintained his dignity and intestinal fortitude in the name of liberation for Afrikan people.
Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison went on to become the first Afrikan/Black president of South Afrika. There were some, including yours truly, who felt that the “truth and reconciliation” program was not the path to take. It would seem that due to the atrocities committed against Afrikan/Black people through the apartheid system,
that several whites, including former president De Klerk, should have been put on trial for war crimes. However, Nelson Mandela and the Afrikan National Congress felt that “reconciliation” was the proper path to take at this time. However, many questions remain as apartheid seems to be gone in name only as Afrikan/Black people continue to suffer in abject poverty, while the white minority still controls the economy and the military.
However, despite differences of opinion in how to move forward politically, that does not diminish the contributions that Nelson Mandela made to the “liberation struggle” for our people. That takes me to his former wife, Winnie Mandela, who was still married to Nelson Mandela during his most difficult times, including while he was imprisoned. It is my opinion that Winnie Mandela has not received enough credit for the contributions she has made and continues to do so. In fact it would have been my preference that Nelson Mandela be the “face” of our “liberation struggle,” while Winnie Mandela would have been president. Winnie is no nonsense and I believe she would have implemented the Zimbabwe model of Robert Mugabe, wherein the land is being returned to Afrikan/Black people in that country and nationalized the industry in behalf of the masses of the people. Even Nelson Mandela has admitted that Winnie was his “spiritual energy” during his time and prison and she carried the “torch of liberation during his absence.
The reality is that both are our heroes and the hope is that the future for Afrikan/Black people in the country of South Afrika will move in the direction of a true democracy that uplifts the condition of our people. In fact it would not surprise me that the Afrikan/Black youth, as usual, lead the charge in demanding equal rights. The reality is that out of respect for Nelson Mandela, they have refrained from overt action, but now the door is open for them to assert themselves and move ahead with the type of resolve needed for true freedom and equal distribution of the wealth. Aluta continua (the struggle continues)!!!!
Sadiki Kambon, Director
Black Community Information Center Inc.