By OumieSissokho Kinteh
“Mandela: The Hero Born in 1918 and died in 2013, it is no doubt that Nelson Mandela lived a life of a hero who went through tragedies, disappointments, but eventual successes and recognitions that any hero might have been expected to go through. While most of us are aware of the political, social and ethical legacies Madiba left behind, it is worthy to share a little of it in the profiling of the people on our cover photo.
We have simply tasked ourselves to do this in order to provide a background of the works these individuals have done or are doing for their nations and the world. To inspire, is our mission! Most of us only cite Madiba’s sacrifice for his country through his long prison years. This recognition is not bad at all, for acknowledging a man’s brutal isolation of 27 years because of his quest for a free and equal nation is indeed remarkable.
However, it is worthy that younger people like us, who are both Africa’s present and future are aware that, this great man spent almost seven decades of his life fighting against domination and exploitation of his people. Jailed for 27 years, Mandela ruled for 5 years as president and spent the years after 1999 promoting global peace, freedom and equality for all humans. This practice is indeed a rare one among our African leaders except in countries where mandatory term limits exist. Forgiving and reconciling with his prisoners won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and his birthday was declared in 2009 as Nelson Mandela Day by the UN in recognition of his selfless efforts to inspire people to make the world a better one for all. To say that Mandela left a legacy for Africa and the world is an understatement. His quest for justice and equality has indeed touched the lives of millions around the world.
If only the dead could speak, perhaps Madiba’s daily teaching to our contemporary and future leaders could be compassion, respect and putting the interests of their subjects first than personal gains and abuse of power. It is never late to start again, we hope to learn from you and live by some of your values. This way, Africa could boldly take its rightful position as a continent of progress and success; great wealth and good health; the century’s pride and not snide.”