Mandela: Source of inspiration and a role model on leadership for generations to come
Saturday, 28 December 2013 00:00
By Amyn Chatoor
Majestic, vivacious, celebrated, sagacious, “Knight in shining armour”, splendid, benevolent, humble and humane, colossus, exalted personality, icon, “great son of South Africa” and the universe, zealous, benign, a freedom fighter who spent 30 years in prison fighting for his countrymen and wiping out Apartheid, a symbol of unity, to his motherland, a rich source of inspiration to generations of his countrymen, a role model. Friends, I refer to, none, other than the late President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, for whom his motherland and the world is mourning today.
From a few of his crowning achievements that come to my mind is his imprisonment for 30 years and the wiping out of Apartheid in his motherland. He being a rich source of inspiration to generations of his countrymen and the universe, he showed by his sagacious leadership, as President of South Africa.
This sacrosanct act of inspiration will be remembered by generations of people and world leaders, in South Africa and the universe. Another crowning achievement was that it was “against his grain” and it was “anathema” for him, to speak evil or ill against anyone especially his detractors who imprisoned him when they were in power.
When he came into power he had no vendetta or rancour against any of those individuals and what he did was to ascertain the truth and achieve reconciliation with the apartheid leaders. Did we hear of any crime charges levied against his detractors when he was in power? Never.
This bears ample testimony to his qualities of love, reverence, respect and regard for his fellow human beings and this is a tribute to his humane and benevolent leadership he has displayed during his Presidency.
President Nelson Mandela was a colossus and a benevolent, humane and humble human being par excellence. As a celebrated icon and world leader he was a rich source of inspiration to generations of world leaders, human beings and the people of his motherland and the universe. Friends, this was his legacy he left behind. He was truly the “Mahatma Gandhi of South Africa”. He was a pillar of peace, unity and serenity to his motherland and the universe. He was one in a million. He was a sovereign and benign leader who was a prince among princes. Nelson Mandela, will take his place in history, with a pantheon of world leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin Roosevelt, Mother Theresa, George Washington, Sir Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Woodrow Wilson who fought singlehandedly for their motherland’s greatness and take their place, in the hallowed halls of history for their inspirational leadership.
Friends, the post-independence era has produced very few leaders of the status and calibre of Nelson Mandela who stood a head and shoulders above the rest and has been and will be a role model for generations of world leaders.
There are very few leaders who possess this zealous quality of not taking revenge or having vendetta against their detractors and would not speak ill or evil against anyone. Friends, he was a martyr towards his motherland. For all his noble achievements, he was justifiably rewarded with the Noble Peace Prize jointly with F.W. De Clerk in 1988. He freed black domination and white domination and paved the way for democracy and freedom in his motherland.
Tributes from UK, US, Australia, China, India, Israel, Palestine, Tehran and many more poured into a nation still in mourning for their departed leader. Flags were flown at half mast as a mark of respect for this great son of the universe.
The United Nations flew their flag at half mast; India flew their flag at half mast and declared five days of mourning for this great departed soul. In Paris the Eiffel Tower was lit up in several colours to symbolise the South African national flag and in Brazil the organisers of the 2014 Rugby World Cup, observed a minutes silence and the Australian and English Cricketers observed a minute silence too for this great leader.
Friends, why should the world pay such yeomen respect and homage to this departed soul?
The answer is simple; he won the respect, reverence, humility and the love of the world and his people. This is the legacy he has left behind for the world and his people.
He was a stalwart in the progressive movement of his motherland and the world. According to celebrated journalist Keith Reichburg, who visited South Africa in the 1990’s, the country was on the verge of being torn apart by bloodshed and the blacks and the whites were slaughtering each other and it was Nelson Mandela who averted this, as this would have been an all out Civil War.
This is recorded as a watershed in the annals of the history of South Africa. His presentation of the trophy to Francois Pienaar, the captain of the bi-racial springbok rugby team, previously seen as an example of white supremacy after its victory over New Zealand in 1995, has been etched in history. It was a symbol of reconciliation to start a new motherland. He was a beacon of light for South Africa and took his motherland to unprecedented heights of development unrecorded in the annals of South African History.
Friends, he has left an indelible mark on his motherland and the universe, not only as a celebrated world leader and icon, but also as an apostle of world peace and unity par excellence.
He was a great disciple, and follower, of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s father of the nation, but unfortunately could not put his policy of nonviolence into practise in his motherland. Friends, I was one of the few people to pay my respects to this great revered leader when I visited the South African High Commission in Colombo and wrote a condolence message in the book made available to the public.
His monumental work “Long Walk to Freedom” and “Conversations with Myself” have become institutions and they will endure for generations to come.
His work Long Walk to Freedom which has been reprinted several times, since its first publication, is a magisterial work, in the field of autobiography.
It is my earnest hope and prayer that this Great Soul be a source of inspiration and a role model in leadership to generations of world leaders.
May his Soul rest in eternal peace and happiness in the world beyond and may he be blessed with God’s showered and choicest blessings. He belongs to the “Ages”.
Goodnight sweet prince, may hosts of devas sing thee to thy sleep.