By Omondi Onyatta
African Migration and Development Policy Centre
On 5 December 2013, a light was switched off in the world. Nelson Rolihahla Mandela finally bid farewell to us at a ripe age of 95 years. A journey that began on 18 July 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa has now come to an end. He may be gone but his ideals of freedom, justice, equality and forgiveness forever remain etched in our memories — ideals that few members of the human race ever practice in their daily lives.
The African Migration and Development Policy Centre (AMADPOC) wishes to celebrate the life of this African son. He was a sun that shone brightly into the hearts of all those who knew him and provided warmth in the midst of the stormiest weathers. Many people have paid glowing tribute to him; this tribute pales in comparison to the other ones that have been sent by various prominent people worldwide.AMADPOC honours you Tata by sharing some of your wisest quotes, which we pray will inspire us in fulfilling our mission and objectives.
Mandela reminded us of the ecstatic feeling associated with finding our feet every time we fall as aptly captured through these words:
“The greatest glory lies not in never falling but rising everytime we fall”
We can never forget Madiba’s wise words about never giving up on attaining what seems beyond our reach. Having been at the forefront of the fight against apartheid, these words could not have been truer:
“It always seems possible until it’s done”
Mandela once said, “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere and many of us will have to pass through the valley of shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires”. This was a timely advice that attaining freedom is a journey that will involve repeated mishaps before we finally reach our destination.
His intelligence and good intentions towards humanity made him a man who always set about to do right towards others and mould a society of peace, love and unity. When he uttered the quotes below, many people realized that it was, unwittingly, an apt description of the man himself:
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination”
Mandela clearly understood the value an educated society would provide for its own benefit. The quote below was an advice to both rich and poor countries to use education as a tool for developing the world.
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”
Madiba embraced his flaws and appreciated that he was not a saint. Throughout his life, he faced many obstacles yet he was determined not to let them lessen his grip on the values he held dearly. The quote below was an encouragement to many people that life has its ups and downs:
“After climbing a great hill, one only finds there are many more hills to climb”
If Mandela did it, then why shouldn’t Africa rise above its challenges? Madiba jumped over the hurdles in his way and having run a good race, has left a legacy that we can only admire in awe and hope to follow in his footsteps. The only befitting gift we can grant Tata is to strive to attain his dream for Africa; a continent, which is at peace with itself.
Till we meet again, fare thee well. Rest in Peace Tata