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A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla (Madiba) Mandela, fondly known as uTata, or Madiba is an amazing who man who has been a great example of African leadership for this generation. What I appreciate the most about Mandela is his tolerance and longsuffering spirit that made South Africa what it is today. A few weeks ago I watched a program about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that led the way to the forgiveness of past hurts and wrongs to bring unity and togetherness of the South African. South Africa has come a long way and still has a long way to go inorder to deal with past injustices and wrongs, but the nation has gone a whole nine yards further than many nations that have been in similar situations.
“… a commission is a necessary exercise to enable South Africans to come to terms with their past on a morally accepted basis and to advance the cause of reconciliation.”
Mr Dullah Omar, former Minister of Justice

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was set up by the Government of National Unity to help deal with what happened under apartheid. The conflict during this period resulted in violence and human rights abuses from all sides. No section of society escaped these abuses.

As I watched this programme, I thought about my beloved Zimbabwe and how the nation seems to getting even more intolerant of others as the years go by. No longer can people express their views without fear of intimidation or victimisation. I thought that Zimbabwe needed its own Truth and Reconcilliation Commission. I am not sure whether we have the maturity to forgive the colonialists who treated natives unjustly, or can we forgive those of our skin colour who have treated their own unjustly. As a nation, we need to get to this place so that we can put the past to rest. Baba Jukwa may be amusing and may be giving people a lot to think about, but at the end of the day we need to ensure that we do not create rifts between people. We need great men such as Nelson Mandela who beyond their own pain and sacrifices can put others first and give the enemy the other cheek. This I believe is the way to win the war. Retaliating at those who think differently does not bring about any justice at all. Martin Luther King advocated for quiet resistance and passve resistance and non violence. Over the years these principles have been used by many great men including Ghandi and they have been effective in

Zimbabweans, I have noticed harbour a lot of anger and resentment. The young are resentful of the older war generation who are set in their ways and refuse for anyone to think anything different from what they believe. The old are still bound by the pain of the past, injustices of the past systems and are still bitter and resentful. Both groups are angry and bitter and resentful and these are all cancers that eat away at ones soul.

The bible says we should give the other cheek. We need to win the enemy over, not only win the war or win the election. The nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding. To many this may seem like being weak, but the meek, those with power under control, will inherit the land. They will go further than the ones who twist arms to get what they want. The best way for anyone to do anything, is to make them want to do it. The best way to get votes, is to make them want to vote for you.

I am looking forward to a day when all Zimbabweans, irreguardless of which party they stand for, can live in harmony without fear or anxiety. Love is the best way to win this battle. This is simplisitic, but this has been proven over the decades to work bette than violence. Maybe as Mandela lies in his hospital bed, we can all think about his selfless spirit and maybe think about living our lives in such a selfless manner for the good of our country.

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