Temple Chima UbochiSunday, December 7, 2013
Bonn, Germany




Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them (Nelson Mandela)

A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious & sensitive, to ensure that at the end of the debate we should emerge stronger (Nelson Mandela)

Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity (Nelson Mandela)

I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his kin, 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 the opposite (Nelson Mandela)

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended (Nelson Mandela)

elson Mandela died on Thursday, December 5, 2013, at the age of 95. Mandela lived well and long. Even though that the world has been waiting for his death due to his illness, still, millions were shocked to hear that he has passed away. That shows that people conferred on him a larger than life status, and never thought that a day will come when the world will be without Madiba, despite the fact that his health was failing. As CNN noted: "After decades in jail, Mandela dismantled apartheid and set South Africa on path to reconciliation". Donna Brazile wrote "Today, as we mourn the loss of one of history's most transformational leaders, let us also pay tribute to his life and legacy. Let us dedicate ourselves to remembering his lessons and continue his efforts to spread democracy, freedom and equality across the globe. Nelson Mandela was a civil rights activist, teacher, freedom fighter, "Father of the Nation," political prisoner, father, husband and an inspiration to the entire global community. He fought for democracy, not only in his own home of South Africa, but across the world. He explained: "To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." Nelson Mandela taught the world a lot as he was full of courage and had no bitterness even against his enemies.

According to Heavy: Relentless in his struggle against oppression - Nelson Mandela survived decades in prison and stayed the course through enormous punishment - ultimately leading his country into freedom. In his dedication to the liberties of his people and his defeat of apartheid, Mandela became a global symbol of triumph over adversity and one of the most recognizable human rights advocates of the twentieth century. Described by other leaders of the world as "charming", "kind-hearted", and "humble", Mandela and his heroic legacy changed the history of his country while teaching the rest of world the importance of perseverance, justice and forgiveness. Nelson Mandela was both "the world's most famous political prisoner" and "South Africa's Great Black Hope."

Part of his life-timeline was as follows:

In June 1961 - Mandela began organizing the armed struggle against apartheid (through) Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nations). He travelled in Africa and Europe studying guerrilla warfare.

In August 5, 1962 - He was arrested on charges of inciting workers to strike and leaving the country without valid travel documents. Mandela represented himself at the trial.

In November 7, 1962 - He was sentenced to prison - five years hard labour.

In June 12, 1964 - He was sentenced to life in prison for four counts of sabotage. Convicted and sentenced with Mandela were Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Denis Goldberg and others.

Nelson's struggle for freedom defined his life: Right from birth, he had his struggle well cut out for him, as his local name meant "Trouble maker", but, he was given the name Nelson by a school teacher. He was also sometimes called Madiba, his traditional clan name. He studied law and graduated in 1942. Heavy blog wrote that Mandela studied law at the University of Fort Hare and later at the University of Witwatersrand. It was where he became increasingly involved with the African National Congress (ANC), a multi-racial nationalist movement trying to bring about political change in South Africa. At that time, the Nationalist Government was elected into power - a white government which decreed apartheid as a rule of law. Mandela became one of the chief organizers of the ANC and drafted the "Freedom Charter", a statement which demanded racial equality. Launching the military arm of the African National Congress, he and other engaged the white apartheid government in a fight for racial equality, freedom and democracy. He was arrested and tried for treason and was imprisoned. According to Heavy, in 1960s, protests for equality were met with brutal government crackdown. During a peaceful protest in the town of Sharpeville, demonstrators were shot by police, killing 69 people. The uproar among South Africa's black population was immediate, and the following week saw demonstrations, protest marches, strikes, and riots around the country. In response, the white-controlled government imposed martial law. All opposition was banned and thousands were detained. It was in 1961 that Mandela abandoned his peaceful track and went underground to start armed struggle. He co-founded Umkjonto we Sizwa - an offshoot of the ANC dedicated to sabotage the government using guerrilla war tactics to end apartheid. Key government installations were targeted. In 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for plotting to overthrow South Africa's apartheid regime. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated on Robben Island for 18 of his 27 years in prison. As a black political prisoner, Mandela received the lowest level of treatment from prison workers. However, while incarcerated, Mandela was able to earn a Bachelor of Law degree through a University of London correspondence program. Mandela continued to be such a potent symbol of black resistance that a coordinated international campaign for his release was launched, and this international groundswell of support exemplified the power and esteem Mandela had in the global political community.

Nelson was fearless that in his trial, he gave a historic hope-inspiring speech in which he expressed his dedication to his cause: "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

Mandela Rejected Offers of Freedom While In Jail: Although his fight against suppression of the black people of South Africa led to his incarceration, he could have betrayed his people by abandoning their cause of freedom thereby gaining from the white apartheid government, but instead, he sacrificed his freedom for the emancipation of his people, just unlike all other African leaders who would abandon their people and their cause for their own personal aggrandizement and interest. Most of all, Mandela left the prison with his dignity, honour and humanhood intact; he never compromised any of them, and that was why he succeeded in emancipating his people. Nigerian leaders should learn a lot from the life of Nelson Mandela, because as Albert Einstein (1879 -1955) wrote "Only A Life Lived For Others Is A Life Worth Living". Mandela devoted so much of time and energy for his people. He was humble and exemplary in leadership.

Nelson lost a lot for the struggle that defined his life: Mandela quit his day job: He studied law at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and opened the nation's first black law firm in Johannesburg in 1952. That career ended because of the struggle. How many Africans can do that? Mandela was on the U.S. terror watch list because of the struggle: Mandela wasn't removed from the U.S. terror watch list until 2008 -- at age of 89. He and other members of the African National Congress were placed on it because of their militant fight against apartheid. In 1982, Mandela and other ANC leaders were moved to Pollsmoor Prison, allegedly to enable contact between them and the South African government. In 1985, President P.W. Botha offered Mandela's release in exchange for renouncing armed struggle; the prisoner flatly rejected the offer. With increasing local and international pressure for his release, the government participated in several talks with Mandela over the years, but no deal was made. It wasn't until Botha suffered a stroke and was replaced by Frederik Willem de Klerk that Mandela's release was finally announced, on February 11, 1990. De Klerk also unbanned the ANC, removed restrictions on political groups and suspended executions. Mandela was finally a free man at the age of 71.

Mandela Was Elected as the First Black President of South Africa, And He Served Only A Term: He gave up power willingly to encourage younger ANC leaders to take over power, meaning that he was a rare gem, because, in a continent where rulers tend to overstay in power, he set an example. As South Africa's first black president, Mandela occupied central position in the psyche of a country that was ruled by the 10 percent white minority until the first all-race elections in 1994. He negotiated with de Klerk and that ended white minority rule, and ushered in the first general election in that country, enabling millions who were priorly disfranchised in South Africa, to vote for the first time. Even Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, after casting his vote during that landmark election then, "I now feel like a human being for the first time". Mandela was so strong willed and never allowed anybody to distract or bend him; even his own people, who opposed the reconciliation effort with the white apartheid government, couldn't stop him. Although he served only one term, but, his legacy was all encompassing. According to Heavy blog: In the mid-1980s, South Africa seemed destined for a future of unending low-level turmoil. Then, no less than Nelson Mandela, from behind bars, began to find common ground with a new generation of realists within the ruling camp. The end result has rightly been termed a miracle-a negotiated transition to genuine majority rule, with stability and economic growth. First free and democratic election and (he) became the country's first black president. He was universally revered as an icon of leadership and humanity. There were many remarkable stories of democratic transition in the late 1980s and early 1990s-the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, in Latin America, in several countries in Africa-but it's hard to top South Africa. In 1990, Nelson Mandela was in prison, and no black South African could vote. Four years later, he was elected president of the nation. Mandela decided to not stay in power for long and retired from public life in June 1999. After handing over power in 1999, he established the Nelson Mandela Foundation to help in raising funds for charity. Despite all he suffered, he always looked on the brighter side of life. The world will always look up to his legacy.

To see the difference Mandela made by relinquishing power after only a term, this was what Jolyon Ford wrote in 2012 (/2012/04/18/):

"This month marks the anniversaries of the first free general elections in South Africa (April 27, 1994) and independence from white minority rule in neighboring Zimbabwe (April 18, 1980). In coming months, the sun could set in each country on the lives of two major African leaders whom history will remember very differently.

Nelson Mandela is 93 years old. The anti-apartheid icon retired over a decade ago after serving as post-apartheid South Africa's first democratically-elected president. The contribution his leadership and example have made to that country's longer-term prospects for racial harmony and social cohesion is generally seen as incalculable. The anxiety following his brief hospitalization in February signalled the levels of respect and affection in which he is held in South Africa and around the world: his death and funeral will undoubtedly be significant global events.

Zimbabwe's current president Robert Mugabe has been in office, in effect, since 1980. Last week he walked unaided off a flight from Singapore. Reactions to reports in early April that the 88-year old was dying in a foreign hospital provide further proof - if more were needed - of the considerable political uncertainty prevailing in contemporary Zimbabwe.

Mugabe is widely held responsible for that country's descent, especially after 2000, from post-conflict African success story to so-called 'pariah state', a by-word for democratic misrule, corruption and human rights abuse. His articulate rants against what he portrays as the West's 'imperialist' designs, misdeeds and hypocrisy have a far greater resonance across Africa than is commonly understood.

His cynical policies on land reform distorted history and impoverished most Zimbabweans, but also manipulated uncomfortable truths about the incomplete economic emancipation of black Zimbabweans. However, his unnecessary and destructive behavior have also entrenched unfortunate stereotypes of inherently flawed African leadership - much to the frustration of many on the continent, especially its younger people.

Comparisons with Mandela particularly irk Mugabe, but they are neither all unfair, nor inaccurate. The abundant hostility towards Mugabe at home and abroad is partly a function of general disappointment, given his early record after 1980 directing the country's post-civil war recovery.

Zimbabwe's achievements in education, healthcare and economic growth made for admiring donors and envious neighbors; as he begins to fade, he understandably feels entitled to greater credit for the principled stances he took opposing apartheid rule and on racial reconciliation towards white Rhodesians in the new Zimbabwe. In this sense he somewhat preceded Mandela, but the public memory will certainly prefer the Mandela narrative to the Mugabe one!

Mugabe cultivates the current political uncertainty and unease in Zimbabwe, including by refraining from naming any preferred successor in the ZANU-PF party that, despite everything, he continues to dominate. His political exit has been the subject of decade-long speculation, has invariably been called too soon, and he prefers it that way.

However, most observers doubt that he will live into his 90s; he will hope that his epitaph will be 'freedom fighter, socialist, and true African nationalist' but history is far more likely to simply label him 'dictator'. Zimbabwe's post-Mugabe transition may yet prove less chaotic than many fear, but he will be given little credit for any broader recovery.

In South Africa, during its centenary year, the ruling ANC party - and its alliance partners - continue a painful, factionalized and highly public period of soul-searching over the former liberation movement's trajectory. Pending party leadership elections in December are distracting its leadership from policy actions as the country's high-potential economy drifts along. For a party that draws so readily on its history, Mandela's death will both unite the ANC in grief and leave something of a vacuum in which the organization's messy intrigues may appear more starkly. Contests over the 'true' interpretation and rightful inheritors of the Mandela leadership legacy will drag on. It remains to be seen whether the sheer force of Mandela's legacy will be enough, along with the many resilient features of the party and country's democratic commitments, to help the ANC leadership govern that complex and important country in the spirit expressed in its much-admired constitution.

2011's 'Arab Spring' in North Africa threw a spotlight on long-time leaders south of the Sahara, from Angola to Zimbabwe. Coming after the recent sudden death of Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika, the recent rumours of Mugabe's pending demise have served to highlight the widespread uncertainty about what lies in store for Zimbabwe.

In South Africa, time will tell if the country has yet to really confront its difficult history in the 'honest' ways that Zimbabweans have recently been forced to. For those looking to South Africa for principled leadership on the continent, and for South Africans worried (mostly unduly) about the 'ZANU-fication' of the ANC, Mandela's eventual passing will be mourned for more than just the death of a great man" (Jolyon Ford is a senior analyst at Oxford Analytica, the global analysis and advisory firm).

Mandela Promoted Reconciliation Between Whites and Blacks: Despite all he went through, he showed no bitterness towards the apartheid authorities, as he forgave them, and that won him a Nobel Peace Prize along with de Klerk. The CNN wrote that "Mandela will be remembered for many things, but his message of forgiveness and reconciliation may resonate the most". F.W. de Klerk, South Africa's last white president and Mandela's predecessor, said "Mandela's biggest legacy ... was his remarkable lack of bitterness and the way he did not only talk about reconciliation, but he made reconciliation happen in South Africa". Heavy wrote: Mandela worked to bring about the transition from minority rule and apartheid to black majority rule. He used the nation's enthusiasm for sports as a pivot point to promote reconciliation between whites and blacks, encouraging black South Africans to support the once-hated national rugby team. In 1995, South Africa came to the world stage by hosting the Rugby World Cup, which brought further recognition and prestige to the integrated country. In 1996, Mandela signed into law a new constitution for the nation, establishing a strong central government based on majority rule, and guaranteeing the rights of minorities and the freedom of expression.

Mandela Was Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and Became a World Icon: In 1993, Mandela and President de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work toward dismantling apartheid. Due in no small part to their work! Mandela's influence extended far beyond his South Africa. Mandela made impact and had influence all over the world. He touched people and lives all over the world. The world definitely misses him sourly already.

Mandela was more than a rock star, as everywhere he went, thousands followed to see and hear him speak. Every important person - film stars, music stars, sports stars and politicians - who visited South Africa during his time, in and out of office, craved an audience with Mandela, and the roll call is never exhaustive as people such Michael Jackson, Oprah, Naomi Campbell and host of others were happy to have been opportune to meet with him. Those who met him, even for the first time, started seeing him as a close friend and a person they can pick up the phone and talk to anytime, because of his genial nature, humility and jolliness. His smile and sense of humour was disarming.

World leaders and monarchs have eulogized Mandela: Everywhere, leaders and people have praised and thanked Mandela for all he did for South Africa and humankind. Until his funeral, Zuma, South African President, has ordered flags around South Africa to be flown at half-staff, while saying that "he is now resting. He is now at peace". Zuma called him South African's greatest son and the father of the nation. Zuma also added that Mandela was a symbol of reconciliation, unity, love, human rights and justice in South Africa and all over the world". The U.S. government and Buckingham Palace also lowered their flags to half-staff. President Barack Obama said "Nelson Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man. We have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages." Nelson Mandela was so loved that many countries awarded him their highest civilian honour and made him their honorary citizen. So many universities, all over the world, conferred on him honorary doctoral degree. Many drew inspiration from Mandela. Infact, Mandela, as the first black president of South Africa inadvertently helped, in one way or the other, in the election of Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States. Mandela was an Icon and his larger than life status gave hope and future to so many people all over the world. As an anti-apartheid crusader, he brought equality and freedom to South Africa and was the glue that still binds the country together, thereby saving it from unravelling or getting plunged into an all out war. Because Mandela forgave his oppressors and jailors, he taught South Africa to be a forgiving nation and the people to imbibe the spirit of true forgiveness.

Another parts of his life time-line are as follows:

In 1980 - The Johannesburg Sunday Post led a campaign to free Mandela. A petition demanding his and other ANC prisoners' release was printed in the newspaper.

In 1982- Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison after 18 years on Robben Island.

In 1988 - He was transferred to Victor Verster Prison.

In July 5, 1989 - Mandela met with President P.W. Botha.

In August 15, 1989 - Botha resigned as president and head of the National Party.

F.W. de Klerk replaced him and began dismantling apartheid.

In December 13, 1989 - Mandela and de Klerk met for the first time.

In February 11, 1990 - Mandela was released from prison after more than 27 years.

In 1990 - Mandela embarked on a world tour, visiting Margaret Thatcher, the US Congress, and President George H.W. Bush.

In July 1991 - Mandela was elected president of the ANC.

In 1993 - Mandela and de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize.

In April 29, 1994 - Mandela was elected the first black president of the Republic of South Africa in the first open election in the country's history.

In May 10, 1994 - Mandela was inaugurated.

In June 1999 - Mandela leaved office.

In December 2013 - He moved on!

Finally, this writer commiserates with Madiba's family, the people of South Africa and all lovers of freedom, as epitomized by Mandela's life, all over the world. Farewell Great Madiba. May your soul rest in perfect peace! We will never forget you and all you did for humankind!


To understand the change Nelson Mandela brought to South Africa, one needs to read what the country was before (Apartheid mentality)


The following is a speech made by former South African President P.W. Botha to his Cabinet. This reprint was written by David G. Mailu for the Sunday Times, a South African newspaper, dated August 18, 1985. A few words of type that were illegible have been deleted and a few sentences may not seem clear; this apparently is due to the translation, however, the thrust remains. It was reprinted in "The Black American" three weeks ago.

Courtesy of Outreach--Friday September 25, 1987

*     *     *

Pretoria has been made by the White mind for the White man. We are not obliged even the least to try to prove to anybody and to the Blacks that we are superior people. We have demonstrated that to the Blacks in a thousand and one ways. The Republic of South Africa that we know of today has not been created by wishful thinking. We have created it at the expense of intelligence, sweat and blood. Were they Afrikaaners who tried to eliminate the Australian Aborigines? Are they Afrikaaners who discriminate against Blacks and call them Niggers in the States? Were they Afrikaaners who started the slave trade? Where is the Black man appreciated? England discriminates against its Black and their "Sus" law is out to discipline the Blacks. Canada, France, Russia, and Japan all play their discrimination too. Why in the hell then is so much noise made about us? Why are they biased against us?

I am simply trying to prove to you all that there is nothing unusual we are doing that the so called civilized worlds are not doing. We are simply an honest people who have come out aloud with a clear philosophy of how we want to live our own White life. We do not pretend like other Whites that we like Blacks.

The fact that, Blacks look like human beings and act like human beings do not necessarily make them sensible human beings. Hedgehogs are not porcupines and lizards are not crocodiles simply because they look alike. If God wanted us to be equal to the Blacks, he would have created us all of a uniform colour and intellect. But he created us differently: Whites, Blacks, Yellow, Rulers and the ruled. Intellectually, we are superior to the Blacks; that has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt over the years. I believe that the Afrikaan is an honest, God fearing person, who has demonstrated practically the right way of being. Nevertheless, it is comforting to know that behind the scenes, Europe, America, Canada, Australia--and all others are behind us in spite of what they say. For diplomatic relations, we all know what language should be used and where. To prove my point, Comrades, does anyone of you know a White country without an investment or interest in South Africa? Who buys our gold? Who buys our diamonds? Who trades with us? Who is helping us develop the nuclear weapon? The very truth is that we are their people and they are our people. It's a big secret. The strength of our economy is backed by America, Britain, Germany. It is our strong conviction, therefore, that the Black is the raw material for the White man.

So Brothers and Sisters, let us join hands together to fight against this Black devil. I appeal to all Afrikaaners to come out with any creative means of fighting this war. Surely God cannot forsake his own people whom we are. By now everyone of us has seen it practically that the Blacks cannot rule themselves. Give them guns and they will kill each other. They are good in nothing else but making noise, dancing, marrying many wives and indulging in sex. Let us all accept that the Black man is the symbol of poverty, mental inferiority, laziness and emotional competence. Isn't it plausible therefore that the White man is created to rule the Black man? Come to think of what would happen one day if you woke up and on the throne sat a Kaffir! Can you imagine what would happen to our women? Does anyone of you believe that the Blacks can rule this country?

Hence, we have good reasons to let them all--the Mandelas--rot in prison, and I think we should be commended for having kept them alive in spite of what we have at hand with which to finish them off.

I wish to announce a number of new strategies that should be put to use to destroy this Black bug. We should now make use of the chemical weapon.

Priority number one, we should not by all means allow any more increases of the Black population lest we be choked very soon. I have exciting news that our scientists have come up with an efficient stuff. I am sending out more researchers to the field to identify as many venues as possible where the chemical weapons could be employed to combat any further population increases. The hospital is a very strategic opening, for example and should be fully utilized. The food supply channel should be used. We have developed excellent slow killing poisons and fertility destroyers. Our only fear is in case such stuff came into their hands as they are bound to start using it against us if you care to think of the many Blacks working for us in our domestic quarters. However, we are doing the best we can to make sure that the stuff remains strictly in our hands.

Secondly, most Blacks are vulnerable to money inducements. I have set aside a special fund to exploit this venue. The old trick of divide and rule is still very valid today. Our experts should work day and night to set the Black man against his fellowman. His inferior sense of morals can be exploited beautifully. And here is a creature that lacks foresight. There is a need for us to combat him in long term projections that he cannot suspect.

The average Black does not plan his life beyond a year: that stance, for example, should be exploited. My special department is already working round the clock to come out with a long term operation blueprint. I am also sending a special request to all Afrikaaner mothers to double their birth rate. It may be necessary too to set up a population boom industry by putting up centres where we employ and support fully White young men and women to produce children for the nation. We are also investigating the merit of uterus rentals as a possible means of speeding up the growth of our population through surrogate mothers. For the time being, we should also engage a higher gear to make sure that Black men are separated from their women and fines imposed upon married wives who bear illegitimate children. I have a committee working on finding better methods of inciting Blacks against each other and encouraging murders among themselves. Murder cases among Blacks should bear very little punishment in order to encourage them. My scientists have come up with a drug that could be smuggled into their brews to effect slow poisoning results and fertility destruction. Working through drinks and manufacturing of soft drinks geared to the Blacks, could promote the channels of reducing their population. Ours is not a war that we can use the atomic bomb to destroy the Blacks, so we must use our intelligence to effect this. The person-to-person encounter can be very effective. As the records show that the Black man is dying to go to bed with the White woman, here is our unique opportunity. Our Sex Mercenary Squad should go out and camouflage with Apartheid Fighters while doing their operations quietly administering slow killing poison and fertility destroyers to those Blacks they thus befriend. We are modifying the Sex Mercenary Squad by introducing White men who should go for the militant Black woman and any other vulnerable Black woman. We have received a new supply of prostitutes from Europe and America who are desperate and too keen to take up the appointments.

Money can do anything for you. So while we have it, we should make the best use of it. In the meantime my beloved White citizens, do not take to heart what the world says, and don't be ashamed of being called racists. I don't mind being called the architect and King of Apartheid. I shall not become a monkey simply because someone has called me a monkey. I will still remain your bright star...His Excellency Botha.

My latest appeal is that the maternity hospital operations should be intensified. We are not paying those people to help bring Black babies to this world but to eliminate them on the very delivery moment. If this department worked very efficiently, a great deal could be achieved. My Government has set aside a special fund for erecting more covert hospitals and clinics to promote this programme.

Please listen: