I was just at my desk writing another blog post about an old book, listening to the radio, when the death of Mandela was announced. So, I am writing this post instead.
I bought this ANC 75th anniversary mug as a Christmas present for my parents in 1987, when Mandela was still imprisoned. This pendant I gave to my mother at around the same time:
It goes without saying that he was a hero to us, as he was to anyone on the left field of politics. The struggles of Mandela and his comrades raised South Africa from the oppressed, white-ruled land enjoyed by my wealthy relatives in 1922, to the liberated ANC-ruled republic I was able to visit in 1997. I have always regretted my failure to book the day off work when he visited my local streets in 1996.
I’m writing about his passing here on my family blog because, for the first time in my life, the death of a world leader feels like a personal family loss. I am sure it is the same for millions the world over, tonight.
Rest in peace, Madiba.