I danced in Trafalgar Square the day Nelson Mandela was released from Robbens Island.
After twenty seven years in prison, much of that time in solitary confinement, Nelson Mandela was released. The whole world rejoiced, and watched.
In prison, Mandela was a symbol of resistance to tyranny. His life was a statement of willingness to sacrifice everything, personal freedom along with access to open air and sky, to state to the world how precious he thought freedom, and how deep was his desire to obtain it for himself and his people.
In freedom, Mandela became ‘The Madiba’. His name, Mandela, became synonymous with “one who fights for liberation”, not only ‘one who resists oppression’. He became a living mandate for freedom and for peace, for himself, and for the whole world which had become his people. After twenty-seven years of unjust, sometimes inhumane confinement, he called for truth and reconciliation. He called for humans, in South Africa and every where else, to reclaim their inherent love, care and connection. He became a living embodiment of humanity’s hopes and aspirations for a more just, peaceful world.
I was proud to proclaim my love for Mandela every chance I got. It gave me a chance to reach toward the spirit and essence of who he was, and to see what parts of my own soul could try to be like him.
Mandela is dead.
The Madiba lives.