Last week we saw the end of an era.
On Thursday evening the great man drew his last breath, and most of South Africa woke to the sad news on Friday morning.
He was an old man, it’s true. He lived a long life and it was certainly his time to go. All true. But we can’t help but feel really, really sad.
When I got to work on Friday morning I tried to put on a brave face, until I was in the kitchen making coffee and one of the designers walked in, and we had to hold onto each other for a minute. Because she realised that I was feeling just as broken hearted as she was. Us two whitey girls in an ad agency kitchen in Knysna, crying for Madiba. That was when I realised that it is not just me who is really sad.
It has been a weekend of mourning and reflection for South Africa.
We have lost a great politician, but we all feel that we have lost something so much more personal than that. We all feel that we somehow knew him. We feel that we have lost a father, a family member.
This great man was a legend in his own time. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is proof that tenderness and kindness can change the world. He is also proof that if a righteous few stand up to a great evil for the greater good of the majority they can succeed. He is proof that endurance will pay off in the end. He is proof that you should never, ever give up on your dreams. And most importantly he showed us that when you finally succeed against all odds and you find yourself in a position of power, that power does not have to be abused. He may have been one of the only honest government figures that has ever lived. He was certainly the only one this country has ever known.
His deeds and actions have been selfless. He was kind hearted. He was a loving man who really wanted to make a difference in this world. I believe that he did. He has made me proud to be a South African.
Cheers tata. May your soul find its freedom and its peace, and may your memory and your teachings be respected and upheld always, not only here at home but everywhere. We will miss you tata. Humbagale.