Mr. Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter, liberator, former president of South Africa and noble human being–he does not need my words. Mr. Mandela’s life has been a representation of great strength and triumph. We all know or can easily access information on the historical struggle to end the apartheid system in South Africa. The struggle in this great nation has continued throughout decades.
The struggle in South Africa continues today as the ‘newly’ liberated nation finds itself struggling with the growing pains of self government. South Africa has been divested of much of its economic stability. The resultant lack of opportunity and poverty in many areas is devastating. Without some solid global investment and continued support of this developing nation, very little progress will ensue.
I remember when it became ‘chic’ to support the anti-apartheid movements. I am sure a lot of conscience may have been involved as well, but what can we do now to assist this struggling nation and its beautiful, spiritual and deserving people–people who need a growing and functioning economy that can provide jobs, goods, services and a quality of life at par with other nations of the world.
Is South Africa doomed to be a country of the few ‘haves’ and the many ‘have-nots’? Should we as a global community accept the crime-ridden and impoverished streets of Johannesburg and elsewhere as the singular result of the struggle of this great nation! I think not. Crime and poverty are linked to opportunity-this is a socioeconomic reality.
I think there should be a global movement of support still in effect for the efforts of South Africa. South African Blacks were never the wealth holders of the land and are suffering greatly from being left to develop something from nothing. It maybe that some observers will say: “well, this is the price of freedom-self government.” But is it really? Should a nation that was left essentially bankrupt and cut off from global economic opportunity be expected to recover without significant global economic involvement?
I am not one who knows best all of the problems and solutions that face South Africa. I am simply a humble observer who has had an opportunity to witness some of the best of this great land and some of its great leaders. Again, I have no words for the great South African leader, Nelson Mandela–his work and his spirit is immortalized. He has reached old age and will go the way of all of the ancestors. When that time comes we wish him ease in his journey and safe-home. But, please let us honor his work by remaining committed to the work at hand–the work that Mr. Mandela spent his life in.
I pray for regeneration of the energy and the determination that brought South Africa out of the darkness of apartheid. I pray for emerging young leaders who will not get caught up in desires for material items at any cost to fabric of the long standing moral fiber of their nation. And I pray that that strength and energy will help the people of today and this generation of South Africa to accept nothing less than the value of the struggle for a good life and true self determination.
for Linda Tauhid’s Journal
June 13, 2013