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Nelson Mandela passed away on the 5th of Dec 2013 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg. May his soul rest in perfect peace…. I leave with and interesting quote from this great man… ‘Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore why I will sleep for the eternity’.

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Today Nelson Mandela turned 95 and people on every continent are celebrating him. He is probably the greatest African alive and people across the world especially South Africans are holding vigils to keep him alive. He needs no introduction but here’s a little bit about this great man. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born  on 18 July 1918 and is a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.

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Controversial for much of his life, right-wing critics denounced Mandela as a terrorist and communist sympathiser. He nevertheless gained international acclaim for his anti-colonial and anti-apartheid stance, having received over 250 awards, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Order of Lenin. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name of Madiba or as Tata meaning Father; he is often described as “the father of the nation”.

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is one of the most quoted – and misquoted – people in the world.

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During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. 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 needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. Nelson Mandela

Friends, comrades and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands. Nelson Mandela

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When you read about great men and women and all they have achieved, one is inclined to think that in some way, shape or form, they are fundamentally different from us. In some cases this may be true e.g geniuses, but many times they are ordinary people like me and you who were able to dedicate themselves diligently to what they chose to do and pay the price for success. After reading Nelson Mandela’s book ‘Conversations with Myself’, I was amazed at how ordinary this extraordinary man is. He was not the smartest, most creative, eloquent, charismatic, richest, privileged or whatever you believe great men should have but he was probably the most dedicated and passionate. It was actually Joe Slovo that proposed the breakthrough ‘sunset clause’  during the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa. He robbed me of all my excuses to remain mediocre… and that I’m thankful for.

I leave you with this last quote from him ‘Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do’. This quote is dedicated to all the agripreneurs 🙂

I am glad that I walked this earth with him. Thanks for stopping by!

http://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/biography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela

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