if you follow me on twitter or tumblr, you’ll know that i spent this past week in the absolutely beautiful city of cape town for my sister’s graduation from UCT. it was a short trip with a very long drive (we drove down on tuesday, drove up on saturday, suffice to say i am sick of being in a car for fourteen hours at a time), but there are certain things that make it worth it.
i encourage everybody to drive down to cape town at least once in their lives – you get to go through a lot of beautiful and historical places, like the infamous karoo desert and beaufort west. even more so, once you actually reach the western cape, you are literally driving on/in mountains and overlooking the most beautiful vineyards until you actually reach cape town.
but, i digress. the reason i went was for my sister’s graduation and it was truly amazing – not only do you finally get to see the culmination of people’s years upon years of study, the university, which has graça machel (the widow of the recently deceased former president of south africa, nelson mandela) as the chancellor, also made the effort to pay tribute to the first democratically elected president of my country.
|nelson mandela tributes in and outside of jameson hall
december 5th, it was about 11pm, my sister came into my bedroom and told me news that i knew was inevitable, but was stunned all the same when the words about the death of former president nelson mandela came from her lips. from then until about 3am, we sat in the lounge and watched cnn, bbc, enca, aljazera – all the news channels that could give us more insight into his death. the people of all races and social classes that flocked to his houghton home was truly incredible – seeing all those people sing for him truly exemplified that this was the south africa he fought for. this was the south africa he went to jail and was willing to die for. it was one of the proudest south african moments of my life, next to the 2010 fifa world cup. and even though the masses were distraught, i… was happy. this man who had lived such a strenuous life, fought not only oppression but various diseases, was finally at rest. his long walk to freedom had concluded in him finally being free. he was at peace. and that’s what i take solace in. without him, i would be able to live in my suburb, go to my school and have the friends i do today, and for that, i am eternally grateful. but his death wasn’t about me. i wasn’t going to be selfish and wish he could live longer simply for my comfort – he has been battling illnesses for the majority of the year, and to see that he no longer has to fight brings me such joy. hamba kahle tata, ngiyabonga. your legacy will never be forgotten. you exemplified beyonce’s song i was here, and i am so thankful. go in peace.
i (sadly) wasn’t able to attend his memorial at the fnb stadium because i was in a car driving to cape town, but where available, we listened to it on the radio.
|singing tribute to nelson mandela