If I said I can’t believe it has already been a year since Tata passed, I would be lying. So much has happened since then. The fact that his face has always been a common fixture in our lives brings the reality of his passing home every day.
The anniversary of his death is not a day to mourn. Today is about reflection and remembrance.
The nation’s relationship with Madiba has been a tumultuous one, like any father-child relationship. It did not fade with his passing; instead, it has left a lasting legacy.
Madiba’s legacy has become synonymous with love, acceptance and freedom. But, is that the reality we are currently living? No.
His decisions, made over 20 years ago, inevitably led to South Africa becoming a democratic country. They continue to make an impact on our lives. Mandela’s approach was to work with the people the majority considered “the enemy.” This approach was not received well by many.
Madiba is viewed as the link between the oppressor and the minority, keeping the peace and ensuring that we all co-exist peacefully under the guise of a “rainbow nation.”
As loved as he is for what he symbolises, Tata has also been chastised for a lot of what’s wrong with the country.
2014 has been an eventful year, especially for the youth. We have seen increased coverage on racially-motivated attacks, a spate of black face incidents, and ongoing youth unemployment, poverty and disillusionment with politics. While racist incidents seem to divide the nation, an overall discontent with the state of living is one of the main things that unites us.
Just as we are united by this day of remembrance.
While some choose to remember some of the decisions Tata made – like choosing not to expropriate land and redistribute wealth – and blame him for our current problems, others prefer to remember the positive impact he made on our lives.
Despite all the challenges we continue to face, that is not what we should see as Tata’s legacy. We should remember him as a man who chose to see the good in the world until the very end. Challenges remain, but Mandela forged a path for us to confront them.
One year on, how are you #RememberingMadiba? Tweet us @LiveMagSA
Words by: @Kay_Tatyana