This is the first time since the news of Mandela’s failing health that I’ve felt compelled to voice my feelings.
Over the past week I’ve actively avoided the news reports and tweets and commentary surrounding the Mandela family. This afternoon on a group friend whatsapp chat I asked for a precis and my friend Sarah gave me a quick summary.
I am angry. I am sad. I am disappointed.
In short, I think that the Mandela story is a sad circus, I know Madiba’s imminent passing has bigger ramifications, but this, this is not how the story should end.
This does not honour or respect or acknowledge what he fought for. This is not how we anticipated we would feel when the final credits started to roll. I’m know I’m not alone, my social media feeds are littered with South Africans, who instead of feeling respect and quiet sadness, are expressing anger and disbelief.
For someone who played a most critical role in showing the world who South Africa is and who we have (and can) become….this, this is not as it should be.
I will try to ignore the media and the travesty that this has become and rather focus on the memories and the moments that personify my South Africa and my Madiba.
Strange perhaps, but at a time like this my brain sings: ‘Free Nelson Mandela!’ – a song that I sang with huge gusto at age 9 when I was in the UK (where I was born)
Did I sing it because it had a catchy tune? Or because I knew his story had some significance? Or because perhaps I felt that I would one day be in South Africa, voting for the first time at age 18 in 1995 and witnessing the transformation he aided?
The reason doesn’t matter, the message is the same – sadly, the circumstance is different.
Love n light Madiba.