ADIEU NELSON MANDELA..............

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OUR NELSON MANDELA............ It was undoubtedly the greatest highlight of my journalism career. The moment in your life that you pinch yourself, careful not to wake up from your Alice in Wonderland dream. The moment you thank Almighty God for sparring your life to see. The moment you whisper to yourself, ( hoping God was not listening); "now I can die." Flashback to the Final match of the 1996 African Cup of Nations. Hosted by South Africa, after Kenya had dropped out. Nigeria, the defending champion had withdrawn, on the command of Generalissimo Sanni Abacha. As the Sports Editor of the defunct THEWEEK Magazine, I made history. I was the only Nigerian reporter to cover the event. And I saw up close and within an arms length, NELSON MANDELA. You have not seen the man they called MADIBA, until you see him through the eyes of the people of South Africa. It was a picture perfect moment, indelible in my mind. A mixed collection people. A man. And the love the people have for themselves despite their glaring differences because of A MAN. That day, an unsung South African team playing with twelve men ( NELSON MANDELA), defeated Tunisia 2-0 to win its first championship. NELSON MANDELA, was meticulous not to accumulate here on Earth what he could not take to Heaven. He could easily have been the richest African alive. He was not. He had the golden opportunity to be President for life. He chose not to. One thing we fail to realize in this part of the World ( NIGERIA); Is this: MONEY is not everything. The ill gotten wealth of the robber barons, we mistake for leaders, does not make them exemplary figures. MANDELA, showed his people, compassion, principle and transparent integrity. He became a beacon of hope. With values and steadfast beliefs, he provided guidance for South Africans and indeed the World. His vision did not change the World overnight. It is paramount to pay attention to what he did and how he did it. Describing the battle for political power in South Africa as one between White and Black, is to oversimplify the enormous demon that troubled the nation. Understanding the diversity of the country, is to understand the miracle MADIBA achieved. His message was consistent to Afrikaans, Zulus,Xhosa etc. He healed a nation. Led them away from the brink of war into the promised land. Making them to blossom in hope and take pride in their diversity. NELSON MANDELA did all these without compromising the very principle and values he stood for. He forged a nation out of people that were traumatized, divided, angry and afraid of living together. He achieved what to many, was inconceivable. His message was one of reconciliation and forgiveness. He preached, that out of terror should come hope. Good night our NELSON MANDELA. Good night great son of Africa. "He longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages." - Barrack Hussein Obama. This one for Niyi Cole and Lola Cole. He was made from love. — with Oluwabamiwo Ajasa and 19 others. 231115Like · · Promote · Share More posts from December 5 Jaiyeola Ajasa

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