Today we can with confidence and joy “throw back” to the very special day that Nelson Mandela walked the streets of his beautiful country again in FREEDOM! We pay tribute to our beloved Daddy of the Nation – Darling Madiba. Many of us remember so many moments about him, with him, some from afar and some so close up with him that one will never ever forget it – Life changing!
My Madiba – Moment was as a young final year Library Science student at the University of the Western Cape. The date was 11 Feb 1990. It was a sunny and hot day in Cape town and we, the students and the many masses who supported ‘the struggle’ with us, had flooded the trains and busses early to get to the Grand Parade grounds outside Cape Town City Hall. With anticipation and satisfaction that finally our “Free Mandela” cries and dreams have at long last become a reality! We sat for hours in the sun, this crowd of 100 000, peacefully and excitedly, and in definite celebration and party mood :-), awaiting his first speech after his release from prison. What would this 27-year-jailed comrade say to us, to our nation?
And then he spoke – the one whose banned face and voice was ever so loud in its silence all those years!
“Comrades and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom,” said Mandela. “I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you the people. …”
“Today, the majority of South Africans, black and white, recognize that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our decisive mass action”.
A speech that was many a times drowned out by us the masses around him with “we have waited too long for our freedom”.
The rest of his story, OUR story as a Great Nation – is history indeed!