Why Are We Praising Mandela For The Wrong Reasons?

medical geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>I particularly don’t understand why people are making a great fuss about an old fighter who so agedly died in peace.

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more about geneva;”>I mean, everyone was expecting him to die anyway. Don’t you think the guy was even long overdue, on life support?

I am particularly sad about Facebook users, especially those people in Uganda who are praising merely because, according to them, he is an opposite of the other leaders they know.

Anyway, below are some of the reasons why I think you are remembering Mandela the wrong way.

1. Just a white man’s idea. Well, we all know that the white man is a very crafty person who can sit down and create a thing that can take the world by storm. You wont be surprised if in years to come, people will start claiming that Mandela, your dearly loved Madiba was just an idea of an icon begotten by a Scottish (or any other country) man so as to make people forget about the tyranny of apartheid and maybe even just for his amusement. I mean, haven’t you seen stars/celebrities as big as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mike Tyson, etc coming and going?


The late Nelson Mandela

Seriously, don’t you think there was someone behind their all-becoming famous and rich and then the fatal downfall? A white man comes up with a complete plan of an icon and what shape they want it to take.

2. You don’t have to praise Mandela for forgiving the whites for imprisoning and torturing him. Why should someone be praised for something they have to do? The bible tells us to forgive and that’s what he did. Besides, you also would forgive an enemy if you became better than him.

There is no point hating an enemy you are better than in the first place. So, the point here is not praising him for forgiving his enemies but in taking the step to keep them even closer.

Madiba is an achiever; I mean its so nice (inside) to be close to the very oppressors who you know loathe the very idea of an African.

We should praise him for being able to achieve and even enjoy the satisfaction of watching your enemy helplessly giving in to your demands while smiling.

3. You are praising Madiba for serving only one term and not grooming or reinstating one of his sons. Seriously, come to think of it, what would one do to stay in power that much after spending most of his time in prison, maybe he had forgotten all about politics and ruling.

Besides, like I said earlier, Madiba fought for peace, freedom of the blacks and the end of apartheid and not for power. So, that was just a bonus he wasn’t going to cling to, after all, his goals had been achieved.

Also, the guy spent 27 years in prison, going in when his kids were toddlers and coming out when they were so grown up some even had children.

So, psychologically and all, he barely knew them well per say. How would he know which one was good for leadership or let alone get the time to groom them?

That is why I think we should be praising Madiba for the right reasons:

He was a focused man. The man knew what he wanted from the start, stuck to it and became a living example of what he believed in that is freedom, peace and equality.

Not so many politicians and fighters are able to stick to what they want and are willing to even die for it. I can imagine that while in prison, the man got so many offers from the whites telling him to surrender to be free and I can imagine how juicy they were (the whites must have been dying too let him lose).

But he stuck to his principles; he maintained his fight even when it meant dying in prison. What man who accept to stay that long away from his family in the name of fighting apartheid? Trust me, here in Uganda, not so many.

How many people’s ideologies and principles have changed by a mere show of paper and promises, countless? That is where Madiba is a hero, and that is what we should praise him for. It is not easy a fight!

He achieved his goals and enjoyed the fruits. So many people rarely live to achieve or if so enjoy the success of their goals. He fought a battle, won the war and lived to enjoy it. I wonder how long it would have taken for the world cup to come to Africa if it wasn’t for the Mandela’s legacy and fight.

His success has not only brought success to Africa as a continent but also changed many a white’s concept about the African. It is to this effect that we should celebrate and treasure Mandela.

Also, this man is a hero or as many are saying, an angel who fell on earth accidentally. Why, how many people have been victims to their own success?

People who are after amassing wealth or power have turned into the devil’s incarnate ignoring even the commonest of sense. People who have changed their way of life, their religion, their “everything” merely because they have achieved a goal!

People who have given in to the pressure, the camera, the money and power! This wasn’t Mandela. Even after being acclaimed a world icon, Mandela did not change a single thing about his life style.

He was Africa’s most influential man but never used that to a bad cause as many would have been tempted to. He remained the calm and firm Mandela. This is a milestone we should praise and celebrate him for. He was truly an angel.

He made a historical achievement. Mandela is the man who fought and won against apartheid and segregation in South Africa but also in most parts of the world indirectly.

He is the man who not only made racism look immoral but also stupid. The man who did not loathe the evil as many did or would have done, but faced and fought it with courage and even won.

It is to Mandela that we owe the fact that the white man’s conception of the African as unfocused, “manipulatable”, confused and vulnerable changed to that of strong, focused and independent.

It to this effect that we should add respect to Mandela and not only praise, mourn and honour him but also celebrate his life. But remember, do not only stop at celebrating it; CELEBRATE IT WITH PRIDE!

The author is an educator and playwright

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