I have a great sadness, even it was expected, that Nelson Mandela passed away after losing a battle with recent illness but at the same time I feel the need to celebrate his life as he brought such great changes to his own country and the world.

I still remember the day in the 1980s when the terrible spectre of apartheid was still present in South Africa and the images on news were of Black South Africans standing up and dying against the then White dominated government.

Into this background is when I first heard the name of Nelson Mandela as one of the major players of the Blacks fight against apartheid especially when he was released from prison.

Through the news I watched this amazing man lead all South Africans to the new South Africa we see now not with bloody uprising but with defiance which forced the Whites there change something which was remarkable even to this day.

I admired the man as he always struck me as a gentle, humanist who never claimed to be perfect and even admitted he was not perfect and he made mistakes. He always stuck me to be this real human who really cared about people and his country who never put himself first.

In the passing of Nelson Mandela the world has lost a guiding light and real human being who will be sadly missed both in South Africa and beyond.

But he will not be forgotten and I believe the legacy of his actions in South Africa will be remembered for a long time. This memory and legacy will become a guiding light for good in itself.

So rest in peace Nelson Mandela and I feel honoured to have lived at the same time as him.


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