Honouring Mandela: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley in Pretoria, South Africa, on Wednesday. —Photo courtesy The Office of the Prime Minister


PM, Rowley set an example

 Even in Nelson Mandela’s passing, he is teaching us invaluable lessons of unity and world peace, similar to his countless days of fighting for the human rights and freedom of our people.

It is heart-wrenching to read the comments of hatred and disgust spewing from the mouths of the misinformed, misguided and ignorant segment of our “rainbow nation” who referred to the Prime Minister’s choice of clothing to Mandela’s memorial service, a choice of ethnic clothing that she has opted to wear many a time over the years as unbecoming and out of place.

It is indeed sad that at this time of evolution, we continue to back-pedal into ancient ways of thinking, going against the very stance Mandela took while being imprisoned for 27 years and becoming South Africa’s first black president four years later. Haven’t we learned from this? Let us take Mandela’s passing as a sign, as it has brought two of our nation’s leaders to a state of unity as they share in one common, and what I pray is a life-changing, experience; that they can both come home and try to work out their differences.

As life may have it and by the Prime Minister’s choice, they were on the same aircraft and the same vehicle, side by side as they journeyed to view the body of Mandela. Every time I saw their images come across the TV in deep dialogue, embracing, shaking hands, pounding their fists into the air as they participated in the chants that were belted out from the locals, my pores would raise and tears would well up in my eyes because I knew there was more meaning to it than what the eye can behold.

I look forward to their return with undying hope that one day we will be a true rainbow nation—the sweet T&T as described by so many; being an example to the region not only for our business development, but also for our interpersonal relations as a multicultural society. Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela.

Raquel Hall

San Fernando

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