9 Dec 2013

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela passed away peacefully a few days ago, aged 95. Peace had been his disarming strength and an inspiration to all of us. Starting off a young promising lawyer with the wrong skin colour, he - like Martin Luther King - had had a dream of a better world.

Nelson Mandela (pict source: Getty)

Mandela disapproved of the apartheid instored in his home country of South Africa and, as a result of his 'subversive' ideas on peace and freedom, was sent off to a penitentiary where he would serve 27 years for 'the crime' of defending race equality between white and black and the educational and work rights they deserved. Mandela would be made to break rocks as punishment, yet his spirit would remain unbroken. Eventually international pressure got the better off the government in place and the president bowed under pressure to free Madiba (as he was affectionately known as) - and the rest is a piece of history immortalised.

'365 Days of Hand Lettering : Day 167' by Lisa Congdon

Mandela could have harboured resentment and angst and revenge as he came out a free man in a country that had taken away his civil rights and a big chunk of his life, but he arose a hero, humble, reflective, wise, sporting a contagious smile and grand ideas for his country. His life took a turn for the better, as the new president of his home country, winner of the Peace Nobel Prize, and a living model of unity and equality, transcending racial origins, religious views, political afflilations, as he would rub shoulders with heads of state from British royalty to Bill Clinton via Fidel Castro. He would meet up with The Dalai Lama, The Pope, and 'A' List celebrities would come visit him.

Nelson Mandela became a symbol of redemption and reconciliation and the example par excellence that if you believe in and defend your ideas strongly enough, no hurdle will stop you.

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