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.