I am most probably going to get a heavy backlash for this but I think I am writing from a point of authority as I have witnessed the life in South Africa first hand.
Although the works of Nelson Mandela are pivotal to the current environment the country finds itself in, it is by no means a clear reflection of the current state he would have loved to see it in today. I am sure he is turning in his grave at how some of his principles have been easily eroded by cheap politicking and kleptocratic tendencies as portrayed by high officials, their families and counterparts who without notice can easily capture entire economies and run them as their own backyards.
Today I spent the day observing the birth commemorations of an icon, which are supposed to create meaningful dialogue and offer exposure to issues that barely get enough attention in a democratic South Africa such as racism, poverty and equality but are sidelined with petty cat and dog donations that can barely hold a community together.
The true essence of Madiba and what he stood for has been lost in some way or the other. The minority that seemingly benefitted from Mandela’s love and compassion celebrate the day and month clandestinely knowing how much they gained from the peace that Nelson Mandela preached.
The majority, however, of those that are eagerly waiting for a chance to own a piece of land or create employment for themselves can barely celebrate or commemorate instead choosing to strongly focus on putting food on their tables.
A few can claim to enjoy or partake in the 67 minutes as they can hardly get the same time to themselves. It is the hardships of the economy and the unsettling nature of politics and politicians that have stolen the possibility of actually praising the birth of such a wonderful man. His 67 year fight for equality and tranquil has in fact been sidelined as each day we see the widening gap between the poor and the rich.
The privileged will quickly turn their 67 minutes in helping kittens and puppies while the poor, elderly and fresh water deprived communities continue to dream of a Mandela ‘utopia’ community.
South Africa today is characterised by a large number of the “have-nots” who cannot connect to the great deeds of Nelson Mandela so as to find reason to celebrate his centenary, whilst still living in a shack, with no hot water, electricity and proper ablutions.
Try telling them to give their hour spreading the virtues of Madiba – Its a punch in your face.
To the one driving up his acre of land and lock up garage, off to sip sundowners on his balcony over looking a private golf course, Madiba month is an event to showcase his power, win elections and gain favourable friends and positions of influence.
Nelson Mandela’s great efforts are slowly becoming extinct and only be visible on the gazetted calendar, the true works of Madiba is when we start solving issues such as classicism, racism and equal opportunities such as how he reconciled when no-one expected him to and while the many didn’t want him to.