Nelson Mandela and Patrick Manning during Mandela's visit to Trinidad in 2004. PHOTO by MICHEAL BRUCE
Manning: Mandela's life the most impactful ever lived
Former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for San Fernando East Mr Patrick Manning today expressed his thoughts on the passing of Nelson Mandela. The two met in 2004 when Mandela visited Trinidad as part of South Africa's bid to host the World cup in 2010. Manning was then Prime Minister. The following is his statement -
Nelson Mandela, Madiba, lived a tremendously courageous and purposeful life. He was born on July 18th, 1918 in South Africa and died December 5th, 2013. His 95 years in the earth must be hailed as the most fruitful, productive and impactful life ever lived in our time. He lived the life of a true Christian. In his cell he had his Bible. His refusal to hate and his demonstrated capacity to forgive were clearly linked to his understanding that God is love and it is our duty to forgive. He lived love, modelled it and did so for the world to see. There is no doubt in my mind that Madiba’s life of struggle, love and forgiveness caused the great people of South Africa to circumvent much of the expected long and painful healing that is necessary after over three hundred years of African suffering as a result of Apartheid. It was all about love for Mandela. Love for his people, love for his country and love for mankind. God blessed Nelson Mandela with longevity that was not afforded many freedom fighters. He was able to see the struggle and the fruit of it in his lifetime. I take away from Nelson Mandela that a life lived out of a heart of love is able to save a country, touch the world and bless Almighty God.
In his own words "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." — Nelson Mandela
I convey deep condolences from my family to his family, to the great people of South Africa and to all who mourn his passing. Let us celebrate the great life he lived.