The face of the world most famous Political Prisoner, Nelson Mandela we saw in 27 years.
ebruary 11 1990 was a Sunday. We lived in Atlanta, South East U.S. It was winter time, so 7 hours behind the country, South Africa. It was the day the apatheid government of South Africa, headed by F. W. de Klerk had ordered that Pa Nelson Mandela be released from prison. Mandela had been incarcerated for 27 years (since 1964), accused of treason.
As a High School Student in the 60's, I had taken part in debates on the evil of apatheid style of government in place in South Africa and how it can be over run.
The day of the release fell on a Sunday and being the world most famous political prisoner, various Television crews were outside the Prison gate awaiting his emergence. I glued myself to the Cable Net Work Television (CNN), which was updating viewers of development from time to time.
Everyone of us in the family had dressed up for the Church for Sunday morning worship service having the hope that the event would come and we will be able to depart for Church afterwards.
Minutes after minutes passed, the world most famous political Prisoner did not emerge from the Prison gate. The crowd outside the Prison gate was mammoth. My children were not old enough to fully understand what was so special at the news I was eagerly and anxiously waiting for. They became restless that we were getting late for the Church Service.
Then came the moment I was eagerly waiting for.
The only picture of Pa Nelson, anyone has seen all the years he was locked up was the one taken in May of 1961 when ITN reporter, Brian Widlake interviwed him at his hideout location in the UK. Pictures of prisoners were not to be shown. And when ocassionally it was displayed on Television, it was only very briefly with his hair cut style that appears like what was called "Half-Draw Back" with a bold parting.
So, this was the facial appearance I had expected to see as he walked out of prison gate.
I missed it totally. The face I had in my mind was someone, 42years of age. Instead, below is the picture that stared at me in the face.
Sunday Feb.11 1990, an old man as he walked into freedom after 27 years.
Only then it dawned on me the extent of the length of time the man had been put away in captivity. I asked myself how a set of people could be so mean and wicked to another of God's creation and it took them a whole 27years to repent.
Ha! Many people will have lots of queries to answer in heaven. I became dejected, pulled off my neck tie and shirt and told the children, I would no longer be able to make the Church except if their mother could drive them. It is a day I cannot forget.
In closing, let me warn everyone, what the Bible says in 2Cor. 5:17 about any and all of our actions while we have our breadth "For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body"
Good bye Pa Nelson Mandela (July 18, 1918 - Dec. 5, 2013)