This morning us South Africans woke to the news that our beloved Tata Madiba passed away last night.
The weather in Johannesburg seems to be reflecting what all of us are feeling. Even the roads seem sombre and quiet.
I was very young when Madiba was released from prison and I remember my parent’s fears of violence and that the country would take a turn for the worst. That was the sentiments all across White South Africa at that time. There was no violence.
I remember the 1994 elections and fears of what having a black president would do to this country. Yet when Madiba was elected president he appointed FW De Klerk as one of his vice –presidents.
Madiba showed us what it means to forgive- he forgave his oppressors. Madiba showed us what it is to have compassion and he showed us what it means to be a true leader. He taught us about reconciliation.
One of the messages that I received this morning and that rings so true is “Our President has died”.
Madiba will always be my President.
Thank you for what you have done for our country Madiba. May your soul rest in peace.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.William Ernest Henley