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Thank you Madiba The recent looming news, around international media, has been health of Nelson Mandela while it is also health of Abdul Sattar Edhi which has been covered by our national media. These great men of current era are remarkably notorious for the services they have rendered for a cause. While Edhi baba's health is out of danger, though still serious but it is Mandela's health which is of utter concern at this point of time.

As a child I never had a chance to see my grandfather since he passed away before my birth. The sight of Mandela's existence known to me was at age of 8-9 that is when general elections were happening in South Africa and my father would praise the name Mandela.

A glorious picture of his on a magazine at school waiting area was the first time I saw him but then it was childhood and forgotten. A little over a decade later I came across the book Long Walk to Freedom, which I read almost a year after I bought it, and searched web for Mandela. The one sided relationship had sparked on my end.

While every young men looks for inspiration and searches for meaning of self existence it was Mandela, the living legend of my time that kept me absorbed. It was his essence behind struggle that inspired me all along to take initiatives and stand tall on ground against social injustices, at least trying to. He was no rogue but learned and educated men who chose his words and action very wisely.

Nelson Mandela, or as I like to call him Madiba (perhaps the ba in the end to me is like baba usually denoted to father or grandfather in Sindhi culture) was born in Umtatu South Africa in 1918.

He was named Rolihlahla which literary means "trouble maker". While belonging to typical African culture of his tribe full of taboos and rituals, he had all the thoughts focused to learning and growing big. He went on to acquire education to cities and came across many kinds of discriminations such as senior student dominance over juniors, the well known African natives versus foreign rulers, the kingly tribes versus workmen tribes and many more.

To each he paid attention and learned while converting the learning into action. No he wasn't all saintly but a human kind. He went on to non-violent strikes which is an art he acquired from his inspiration from Gandhi, a hero of his time. Madiba was arrested several times only for authorities to find more momentum growing behind him. He also arranged for some of his men to gain weapon training and turned to violent measures (Madiba's involvement though is not assured).

As a leader he always kept his men mobilized and informed and made sure the capability each man had was shared with others. The better of him was seen and respected by enemies in his time in prison where he always caught people off guard with his act and words leading to respect from all the circles.

His emergence from prison and the change of times and life of South Africans was payback for his years of sacrifice and leadership. He developed understanding of term globalization and went on to create programs to spread understanding of humanity and humility around the globe.

What he really taught was adapting leadership skills according to times and knowledge. If he were an active young man born in my times in different circumstances with same qualities, he would have still galvanized many souls and would have taken measures based on need of time. A few of his great quotes are:

  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  • I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
  • For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
  • There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
  • There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.
  • A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don't have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed. From:
  • "No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

Dear Madiba thanks for inspiring many souls and standing as icon. I wish you recovery and health. nelson mandela