This unnamed infant was held by Nelson Mandela during his visit to Trinidad in 2004. PHOTO by MICHEAL BRUCE
MSJ: Mandela a fighter, a hero to all
The Movement for Social Justice today issued a statement in memory of the passing of world icon Nelson Mandela -
We all knew that the end had been near for Nelson Mandela, given that he had been gravely ill for quite some months. However, the news that his life has finally ended still leaves one feeling deeply shocked.
Nelson Mandela was an icon for all of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies learning about and participating in the struggle for freedom and justice. Mandela stood firm in his belief that the achievement of freedom would be a long walk. Thus he refused to compromise during the 27 years that he was imprisoned; he and others took up arms when all the democratic avenues were closed to blacks by the apartheid regime and he insisted that this was the only right and proper course of action open to the ANC; he never turned his back on his friends - and thus rebuked the US media and others who dared to question his friendship with Fidel Castro and Muammar Ghaddafi, who stood in solidarity with the liberation movements in southern Africa when the US under Reagan and Britain under Thatcher were supporting the apartheid regime and calling Mandela and his comrades in arms - terrorists. We are sure that even as Mandela demonstrated his remarkable ability to forgive his enemies and those who wronged his people; he would not want tributes that drip with hypocrisy nor the truth to become re-written.
As we express our thoughts and celebrate this hero, let us also recognise that Mandela was a FIGHTER for freedom and justice. He was not a talker, but a doer. He will live on in us through our deeds. Nelson Mandela has indeed walked the talk and his leg of the long walk to freedom has now ended. Others must take up the baton and continue the journey. Let us all try to be a little more like him - dedicating his life to improving the well being of his fellow citizens and of humanity!! Let us emulate the qualities that made him such a unique human being - love for humanity; faith in the ordinary people who traditionally "do not count"; humility; commitment to principles and integrity. Long Live Nelson Mandela!!