Afroscandic spoke with the African Ambassadors in Scandinavia, to pay tribute to South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, the anti-aparthied icon and a worthy son of Africa.
In the video below is excerpts of the telephone interview with H.E. Ambassador Benedict Onochie Amobi, the Nigerian Ambassador to Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. And a copy of his speech delivered during a memorial service in honour of late President Nelson Mandela at the Immanuel Church, Stockholm, Sweden is also in the text below.
Pastor’s Doug and Jody Fondell (Immanuel Church) Ambassador Mandisa Marasha of South Africa, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.
The world has indeed lost a great man and Africa has lost one of its foremost extraordinary liberation leaders. A God fearing man of immense insight and character.
The passing of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95, will create a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill in our continent. He will be sorely missed by all who cherish peace and freedom the world over and will be remembered and honoured for his immense contribution to the dismantling of the apartheid structure, one of the world’s most obnoxious systems whose under-pining philosophy was the degradation of man by man.
Madiba fought a long battle for freedom and justice for all humanity,knowing that apartheid diminished us all collectively.
When Mandela graduated as a lawyer and opened a joint private practice withOliver Tambo, they both set aside a considerable amount of their time defending very poor South Africans free of charge. When the apartheid government convicted Mandela and sentenced him to life imprisonment for his role in the ANC, Mandela gave a speech that was as powerful as that of Patrick Henry’s famous ‘‘Give me liberty or give me death’’ speech.
Quote. ‘‘I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die’’
The ideals which Nelson Mandela stood for are encapsulated in this quote from his famous ‘‘speech from the Dock’’ on 20th April 1964. They are ideals of humanity which condemn racial discrimination in whatever form. Mandela did not answer racism with racism, but rather fought for what was just and right.
Several times Mandela could have walked out of Prison, but he refused to agree to any of the deals on offer, until all essential demands ofthe ANC were met.(Freedom for all, one man one vote)
Mandela promoted reconciliation between all the Races. Despite all that he went through, he showed no bitterness towards the apartheid authorities, ashe forgave them. Indeed, Mandela will be remembered for many things, but his message of forgiveness and reconciliation will resonate the most.
The great Madiba is an inspiration to all of us, speaking to thevalue’s of love and human brotherhood. His spirit of forgiveness and subsequentactions as President of a free South Africa in which he encouraged reconciliation and inclusiveness, promoted the dignity of all mankind.
He was indeed ‘‘the moral conscience of his time.’’
The indefatigable spirit which Madiba demonstrated throughout his life will continue to inspire present and future generations of Africansas a role model. At the same time he will be remembered and honoured by mankind as one of its greatest liberators, a wise, gentle, courageous and compassionate leader.
Mandela could have made himself King and served as President, for as long as he desired, but he chose to step down after only one term. In the one term that he served as president he demonstrated how Government should be an opportunity for Public Service, not for Private gain.
Watching scenes during the memorial service held for Mandela at the rain soaked Soweto FNB Stadium, I could not help recognising the power of the spirit of Mandela, as I observed President Obama after his speech reach out and shake the hand of an old time cold war enemy President RAUL CASTRO of Cuba in a historic moment of reconciliation. It is a testament to Mandela’s ability to bring adversaries together even in death.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen Albert Einsterin wrote ‘‘Only a life lived for others is a life worth living’’. Mandela devoted his entire life and energy to the struggle for his people. His indeed was a live worth living.
We join you Dear Ambassador MARASHA, the Mandela family, the people of South Africa and lovers of freedom, peace, justice and equity all over the world in praying that God Almighty will receive the Great Madibsa soul and grant him eternal rest.