South African President, Jacob Zuma, when announcing the passing of Nelson Mandela stated that “This is the moment of our deepest sorrow. Our nation has lost its greatest son … What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”
President Barack Obama leading the tributes from other world leaders stated, “Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa – and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings – and countries – can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives.”
Mandela inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.
NPR.org, “Book News: Remembering Nelson Mandela, The Author”:
- Nelson Mandela, political leader and international icon of liberation, was also a wordsmith, an orator and writer whose eloquence was one of his most valuable tools in the fight for freedom in South Africa. In his elegant autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, he wrote, “I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, Henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.”
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