SOUTH AFRICA ~ encounter her in all her beauty, tragedy, glory and stark reality!
As the world's most famous prisoner (held in captivity for 27 years) and, then becoming South Africa's president, Nelson Mandela exemplifies a moral integrity that shines far beyond South Africa. In the revolution led by Mandela to transform a country based on apartheid laws and dirision, into an open democracy, he alone has achieved a miracle. He was born in the Transkeian homeland on 18 July, 1918. His first name, 'Rolihlahla' is interpreted as 'troublemaker'. The Nelson was added later, by a primary school teacher of his.
Mandela's boyhood was peaceful until the death of his father landed him in the care of a powerful relative. He became involved in student protests against white colonial rule at the institution at Fort Hare, and this set him out on the long walk toward personal and national liberation. Having run away from his guardian to avoid an arranged marriage, he joined a law firm in Johannesburg as an apprentice. Years of daily exposure to the inhumanities of apartheid, where being black reduced one to the status of a nonperson, a nothing in some people's eyes, kindled in him a kind of absurd and willful courage to change the world...
And he did :) He is a much loved and revered person in South Africa, and the world. His is a hand of friendship and love, healing and productivity.
One of the most exciting elements in South Africa is that it is in the continual process of reinventing itself, it's outlook and understanding of eachother. Peoples’ attitudes have changed across the colour barrier and people have hope. A new South African culture is being created, sans colour or tradition standing in the way. We still have a long way to go, but the progress that's been made since 1994 has been hugely significant! :)