On Friday morning, I opened my twitter app and there was just a continuous stream on my timeline about how a great man had passed away.
My dad had gone to drop my siblings off at school. When he came back, he told me he had heard on the radio that Nelson Mandela had passed away. I nodded in agreement. Then he said, “No be yesterday that man die o, e go don die since but them just dey wait for the right time to tell everybody.”
I asked him why he thought so, and then he said, “How is it that just the day before yesterday, his daughters were telling us that ‘Mandela is teaching them discipline, patience, blah, blah, blah.’” My dad was referring to a radio broadcast that happened on Wednesday evening where the newsreader said something about Mandela’s daughters saying their father, Madiba, was a man who was still teaching them values even while on his death bed.
Enough with my dad’s conspiracy theory, let me tell you why I think Madiba’s main achievement was to prove to white people that Africans are not animals.
We should ask ourselves, what makes Madiba different? Yes he was in prison for a time long enough for a woman to be born, grow boobs and have seven children. Other people went to prison for the fight of the freedom of their people from one form of oppression or the other. I can’t think of any names right now, but there should be others in the history of the world. He read Achebe’s books in prison, so what? Black people love to read in prison. If you didn’t know, watch 60% of Hollywood crime thrillers that have Blacks as the culprits. I just came up with that figure
He was a lawyer who wanted black people to be treated as equal to whites, all black people are still fighting the battle of racism.
He was a true African, he married more than one wife, although he could not keep them all at home at the same time, it is almost the same thing.
So what made him different?
IT WAS HIS FORGIVING HEART.
God knows, if it was Idi Amin Dada, who came out of prison after 27 years and was made the president of his country, there would be not a single white person in South Africa today. It would have been the African version of what Hitler did. And you know when black people do bad things it is often referred to as being animalistic.
I don’t know how he knew it, maybe he visited a juju priest or priestess, I mean he is African after all, but somehow he saw a South Africa where the whites, blacks and those in between, could work together for a better tomorrow.
Today, in the whole of Africa, there isn’t a place as diversified as South Africa in terms of ethnicity. That is why they are a continental power.
Like I’ve always said, if you want to grow, as a person, a community or a nation, you must always have inputs from the outside. You cannot do it alone.
p.s: wherever there are white people things always seem to be managed better. For now.