i knew you were trouble
December 8, 2013
we lost a great man in Nelson Mandela. Our generation did not live in Gandhi nor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s time – Tata Madiba was our example of peaceful resistance. That we lost him is sad – what saddens me more is that there is not enough like him.
Rolihlahla is the name his father gave him and is isiXhosa and colloquially means “troublemaker.” Until 2008, he was even branded a terrorist. Maybe he caused headaches to the Apartheid establishment but because you have always done something does not make it right. Forget tradition, he had right on his side. I think Australia was right to lead the boycott – they had witnessed first-hand the adverse effects on the Indigenous people.
He was given the English name of Nelson by his teacher – for reasons were not certain of. It reminds me of how in my “old” country you used to not be able to be baptized unless you had a “Christian” given name or how the Spanish had “forced” us to adapt last names that sounded like theirs. Why are people so afraid of the “other”?
My favourite quote of his is:
“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
I think we should all endeavour to be the best that we can be.