Nelson Mandela is dying.
Not a strange or unexpected thing for an elderley statesman.
Not an event that should cause world-wide heartache.
Most countries are only too glad to see the backs of their former presidents.
They often organise a huge song and dance when they shuffle off to buffalo. The media descend like vultures, and all those inclined, make pots of money selling t-shirts and other useless junk.
I’m not expecting Madiba’s death to be any different in that respect.
Where it will differ, is that for the first time in forever we are preparing ourselves to say goodbye to someone we truly love and respect…..
Yes, odd that, unbelievable in fact, unless you live here…
Perhaps I`ll go into the deep dark details of why at some stage.
For now I just want to say this: We adore this man because we know for sure that more than anything else he wanted to unite us, we know for sure he actually gave a damn. We know this because of the extraordinary amount of effort that he put in to encouraging us to tolerate and forgive and for the sacrifices he made for the sake of this beautiful and often undeserving country.
Tata Madiba, in many ways, became the very best part of our conscience – he is the embodiment of the yearnings of our spirits. He taught, admonished, loved and lived by example – always.
It is this reflection that stands today as a constant source of torment for those who rule through greed and avarice – long may it continue…
For now The Father of our Hope lies dying. The media pound the pavements outside, people pour through his hospital trying desperately for a last glimpse of this great man.
I personally fear what will happen when his spirit leaves and the rabid replacements finally have the country to themselves. The small degree of restraint they exercise will be gone.
There will be only a bittersweet memory left behind to remind us of dignity, compassion, wisdom and love.
Perhaps God is feeling gracious. Perhaps the suffering and sacrifice and dedication of this great man will move the powers of the Universe to raise up another willing and able to lead us on.
It would be a fitting reward for a life given in service. It would probably make Madiba dance again.
Both thoughts make me smile.
Go in Peace Tata