The loss of a world-changing leader

South Africa and the world lost a life-changing leader today.

Nelson Mandela, who freed South Africa from the shackles of apartheid and became an international icon of peace and reconciliation, died at age 95 in his home of Johannesburg after a long illness battle.

Mandela spent nearly three decades of his life imprisoned after being tried and convicted of sabotage for his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement for his fight against white minority rule.

In honor of a lifetime of accomplishments, let’s take a look at 5 of Mandela’s many great achievements:

  1. Served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 – the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election.
  2. Was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his fight against oppression in South Africa.
  3. Instead of prosecuting the crimes of many apartheid-era commanders and enforcers, in 1995 he agreed to set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where victims of racist violence and torture could tell their stories and perpetrators told theirs.
  4. Became a leading spokesman for AIDs prevention and treatment in South Africa.
  5. Successfully campaigned for South Africa to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

470x400nelson copyBut while his hundreds of awards are a testament to the type of leader he was, nothing holds greater evidence to the type of man he was than the 3 qualities he carried with him everywhere – humor, honesty and humility.

To my friends and loved ones in Johannesburg and all over South Africa, the world and I are mourning with you for Mandela’s passing.

Let us celebrate Mandela’s life, remember his unprecedented legacy, and continue his work of equality.

Nelson Mandela has done so much for the world and will go down as one of history’s greatest men.

I’ll leave you with one of Mandela’s greatest quotes:

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Comments and Reactions...

  1. We were all very quiet in the kitchen this morning – we are the Team that catered for Walk to Freedom when his book was launched – in 1994. We were the team that worked with Avant Singh and catered for this great event – we all had our own feelings this morning – because we experience his presence as a great Leader and a Great Statesman – he came to thank all of us personally that day.
    But we shall celebrate his life and treasure our experience on this great day -
    Amarille Vermooten-Vorster and the A-Team of Standing Ovation. (Today we are Kuxuxa Foods at Centurion Country Club.

  2. Hi Loral,

    Thank you for those lovely words, it is indicative as to how many hearts this great man touched worldwide.

    I have lived in this great country all my life and I and many more thousand (white recruits) spent many long years on the border protecting our country against a communist threat.

    It all ended in 1989 and people like myself were very nervous what was to come even though most of us had never practiced abuse against our enemies – we actually had a great respect for them.

    When Madiba was released I immediately saw that this man was special – who could be jailed for 27 years and come out of jail with no hate???? This has never happened and most probably never will!!!

    His biggest love was for children – he actually never wanted to be a president, but I believe we did not have him for long enough!!!!!! with a 2nd term I believe that we would not have the amount of corruption and organised crime in our Rainbow Nation – he would not have allowed it and all would have been brought to book.

    Now that he has gone, we can only hope that we can live his legacy and live together in harmony.

    In ending there is only one way I can describe this wonderful person ”South Africa was blessed with the greatest person worldwide that has ever lived!!!!!!”

    Rest well Madiba, our Great Grand Father of us all.

    Your admirer (for ever)

    Allan Preddy

  3. henry van Wyk (Australia) said this:

    His message, like the message of Christ, will, one hopes, continue to be heard for generations to come and influence those in far corners of the world to live in peace with their neighbour. Let him not have lived and suffered in vain.

  4. REST IN PEACE, FATHER OF THE NATION. WE WILL MISS YOU.
    YOU HAVE GIVEN US FREEDOM. I HOPE ALL OUR FELLOW SOUTH AFRICAN’S
    CAN FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOT STEPS. WE ARE SICK & TIRED OF THE CRIME THAT IS
    DESTROYING OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY.

  5. sally newill said this:

    Loral, thank you for your tribute to our much loved .Nelson Mandela. He has left the world with a legacy of integrity, compassion, humility. Such a man one is unlikely to find again. He lived his life as Christ Jesus called us to live. To touch each others hearts it starts with loving one another unconditionally. Forgiving one another, not holding grudges, being humble. Being compassionate. Thank you Madiba for teaching us how to live in unity. May we all take note and apply our lives to benefit the poor, the lonely, To be there for others, selflessly reaching out and making this world a better place for all. Jesus said . “A new commandment I give to you is to love one another as I have loved you”. Madiba taught us to forgive and to love. Thank you Lord for giving us such an example of how to live our lives through such a dear wonderful man “Madiba”. God Bless Nelson Mandela!.

  6. I feel so privileged to be a part of this country. Had it not been for Mandela, i wouldn’t be enjoying the freedom and the opportunities i have today. At the age of 30, i wouldnt be a businesswoman. I salute our former president and may his beautiful soul rest in peace

  7. Anne said this:

    Thanks Loral. Yes,we have certainly lost a great leader and a great man, but in his death we celebrate his life and his legacy

  8. Nonhlanhla Mahlobo said this:

    If Human nature was renewable, I would have asked to God to re-new him again. He might be gone but he willl live forever in our hearts.

    May your Soul rest in peace.

  9. Desiree De Verneuil said this:

    Thank you, Loral. We, South Africans, were truly blessed to have an icon like Nelson Mandela to share with the world. I pray that the hardest hearts will be touched by his love for peace and justice all over the world and that the fighting and disagreements between countries and nations will cease.

  10. Gert Oosthuizen said this:

    Dear Loral,

    Thank you for your passionate eulogy for Tata Madiba however some points need to be corrected.

    He passed away in his home in Houghton which is not in Johannesburg but actually in between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

    He was not awarded the peace prize for his fight against oppression, the award was given to both him and his predecessor for negotiating a peaceful end to the civil war.

    The TRC was set up after joint negotiations with all the political leaders in South Africa and was actually instigated by the Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu.

    He did not campaign for the World Cup but he did support the team led by Danny Jordaan who did the campaigning.

    He was not an aids prevention spokesperson but the foundation started by him, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund is and will hopefully always be at the forefront of funding children’s homes especially those who deal with children born with or left orphaned by AIDS. He never took part in the running of the fund though. His grandchildren are currently fighting to take control of the fund from the board for their own selfish purposes.

    We love and cherish Tata Madiba and will always remember him for the man that he became after the end of the civil war. He was a man of the people who led by example and who gave so much to his children, the people of South Africa, no matter their race, political -or religious beliefs. He was by no means a saint but he paid his debt to society in full and kept on giving until his health failed him.

    As they shouted in the streets in the early 90s… VIVA NELSON MANDELA!!! LONG LIVE!!!

    Rest in peace Tata

    Gert

  11. jeff moloto said this:

    God made him and eqiupt him for a time like the apartait time.

  12. godfrey maise said this:

    We have lost the only person who kept our vission of new South Africa alive, person who was not feared but respected by the whole world. He was the second to touch and change the world like Jesus did. He done that with his life again like Jesus did. The only different was he was black and South African. Let your spirit, wishes and hopes remain with all who understands your way of life and the reason to sacrifice your life for the world.

    By doing so leaders like you will be born again to lead the world like you did. Not leaders who will be choosen by political movements to rule not to lead by their own life. We thanks God for giving us someone like you and we praise him too for taking you away to the other side. REST IN PEACE TATA MAY YOUR SPIRIT LIVE FOR EVER.

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