Madiba and the Child

We were on holiday when the news about Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela broke late Thursday evening. With little to no internet, WordPress was not an option (if you don’t blog it, did it really happen?), but the past few days have been a period of introspection for the whole of South Africa. It has been years since I tried my hand at writing verse. It follows below.

Madiba and the Child
They called you Terrorist
But I did not understand how
a man so full of love
could inspire terror.
They called you Father
And I worried that
Your own children
Would resent us.
They called you Old
But I had never seen
an old man dance the way
you did.
We were only children.
We called you Hero.
The old man who bent down
to talk to us.
For us, that was enough.

I do not really have much else to say but that, despite my experience with illness and death, part of me always believed he would never die. Click here for my tribute to Tata Madiba for Youth Journalism International.

Note: Nelson Mandela loved children and was the patron of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. In lieu of flowers, many are donating to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, for the large children’s hospital being planned for Johannesburg.


  1. Such a lovely tribute, here and on the other site. In following the news, I’ve learned much from such a great man, glad to hear a more personal take on these past few days.

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