What does Madiba mean to me?

by: Emmanuel Pheehe - 2 July 2013

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Every time there is news of Madiba being admitted to hospital, the whole country, continent, and world at large, hold their breath for the man who most of us cherish for bringing freedom and equality to our nation as well as being an exemplary world leader. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born 18 July 1918 in Mvezo in a tiny village on the banks of Mbashe River. Today he remains in a critical condition in Pretoria Hospital.

On the 26 of June 2013 his daughter Makaziwe Mandela apparently called all family members for a meeting to prepare them for the worst. At the same time 100 doves were released in the air outside the hospital to commemorate his life.

LIVE SA went out to the streets of Johannesburg to find out from the Rainbow Nation’s youth what this great legend means to them; what do they think of his work; how they feel about his current state of health; and what might be the outcome of his passing? This is what they had to say.

Photography by Khabazela Mkhize.

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Thato Tholo, 24 year old PR and Social Media Coordinator
Nelson Mandela revolutionized the South Africa we live in and this created new opportunities that afforded us the lives that we currently lead. He has shown us what it means to forgive for a greater cause. One can’t express the amount of gratitude we owe to him for everything he has done for us. The mere fact that his state of health has gone from stable to critical is terrifying. I’m praying that he comes out on top of this. But also, it’s only fair that we allow life to take it’s course, as dreadful as it may be.

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Ashton Fouri. 24 year old sales agent
Madiba has done so much in life, he sacrificed a lot for what he believed in and that we all know takes guts, he’s at a stage where he needs to rest and be given his time and if it may be, we need to let him go. we all know who Madiba is and what he has done. I think we need to give him a break man. we need to let him go.

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Alvin Boucher, 25 year old waiter and Bassist for the band Villa fan!! Drummer aswell
He is a very inspirational strong root that has always inspired us to strive for greatness no matter what the circumstances are. He devoted his life to uniting the nation on one goal of alleviating the country of oppression.With regards to his state of health, I think we should prepare ourselves psychologically, as well as emotionally, for any outcome. At this stage we should all pray for the best, but still expect the worst. It’s time to let him rest, he has fought his battle and greatly won.

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Relebohile Nephawe, 23 year old entrepreneur, writer and fashion designer
Nelson Mandela is a hero amongst many. He is one of the few men who were brave enough to fight against all odds against during the apartheid era, the most difficult time for us black people. My highlighted viewpoints on his life and work are that he has served his time. He played his most important role and his life will always be a reference of what a noble man should be, and lead, like. His legacy goes beyond money and trusts funds. With light to his illness, we should just leave everything in God’s hands. Tata has well-served his purpose.

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Meagan Naidoo, 21 year old second year art student and a real philanthropist in the making
He is a world icon. He’s someone I look up to, almost at all times. As the youth of South Africa we should celebrate his life, always strive to be like him and build a nation that is united. He has done a good deed for the country. If it wasn’t for him, and other struggle heroes, we would still be living under the apartheid regime – imagine that. Concerning his health, he is forever in a critical condition. It pains me to say this but I don’t think he is going to make it, we should allow God to do his will.

Everything concerning his life can be read in his book titled Long Walk to Freedom which he wrote while he was imprisoned on Robben Island. He dedicated it “to his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, to all his comrades, friends and fellow South Africans.”

“For one to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.” Nelson Mandela

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