The closest I have been to seeing Nelson Mandela, was my visit to his home in Soweto (took photos with other tourists in front of it) , and the photos I took beside the gigantic statue of him in Sandton, Johannesburg just behind the Michelangelo hotel I was staying.
Mandela is one of the very few people who did not have to die before becoming a legend. How else can one describe a man who has become a pilgrimage to many. People from all over travel just to see him, shake his hands, take a picture and they feel fulfilled.
I grew up
hearing his name, listening to songs asking for his freedom, I heard about him even before I was old enough to make sense of why he was seen as a great man...The name Mandela, became synonymous with struggle, freedom, greatness and for once the term hero could be ascribed to an African leader.
When he became the president after his release, like many I didn't care if he was capable, I just felt he deserved it. Bottom line, Nelson Mandela stole my young heart, he was not just South African, he was African!
The past few weeks have been filled with stories; rumours of his death, his ailing heath, being on life support etc.
I am of the opinion that at this point, his being dead or alive should not bother us, we should just be happy to tell his story, and for those fortunate enough to have met him, bask in it. I wish I had met him. I probably wouldn't have said anything, just stared at him in awe.
Ordinary people are born, but legends are born extra ordinary.
For now, lets just let him rest