Farewell to a Great Man

Nelson Mandela – 1918 to 2013

By Margaret Sheard

Nelson Mandela 1918 to 2013
Nelson Mandela 1918 to 2013

I would think most of the world have heard of Nelson Mandela even if they did not know a great deal about him and I have to admit that I probably come under that category as well, but I know he did a great deal in his life for peace and human rights and also paid the price for his beliefs. He was loved and respected by so many people and will be a role model for future generations.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was born on 18th July 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa, was married 3 times and had 6 children, four from his first marriage and two from his second marriage. A lot of people will remember Winnie Mandela, his second wife who died in 1996, and who stood by him during his traumatic years in South Africa. He spent 27 years in prison at Robben Island where the gruelling work took its toll on his health but the fact that he lived to be 95 years of age must say something about the resilience and resolve of this man.

Nelson received many awards during his life, too numerous to list here but the one accolade he must have been proud to receive was the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ground Force (courtesy of BBC News)
Ground Force (courtesy of BBC News)

I remember seeing a film called Invictus which was a true story based on Nelson Mandela’s first term of office when he initiated a venture to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

I can also remember a UK TV programme called Ground Force when the team transformed the garden at Nelson Mandela’s home in South Africa. This was all very hush hush and apparently when Nelson returned home he was very confused as to why a BBC film crew should be in his garden but he was delighted with the results of the make-over.

On the 5th December 2013 at the age of 95, the world lost a great man who will always be remembered.

Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela.