Friday, July 18, 2008

Mandela's 90th birthday

Here is a slideshow to celebrate Mandela’s 90th birthday.

Nelson Mandela, who sacrificed his youth in prison for the good of his country, is still an inspiration to African generations. During the apartheid era and after stepping down from the presidency, he has remained an icon.
Because he has continued to stand firm on his principles, he has succeeded to keep his glamour all over the world. From his prison cell, he radiated the spirit of freedom to all oppressed South Africans. Now as a free man, he still inspires those seeking a democratic leader in words and actions.

African leaders can learn from him. Being powerful doesn’t mean to stay in office forever. Mandela as a figurehead in his country and in many parts of the world can teach lessons to those who once fought for the freedom of their countries seek to enslave anyone to their regime.
Mandela can be contrasted to Mugabe for whom relinquishing power is a nightmare. While Mandela enjoys respect all over the world, Mugabe is becoming to be seen to many Zimbabweans as a disgrace and to leaders in South Africa as an embarrassment.

Mandela was the symbol of struggle against apartheid. As a man and a head of state, he initiated a new era for South Africa. The struggle against apartheid is now a matter of the past. The new struggle South Africans have is against their current problems. The black majority have only themselves to blame for what is going on now, as the government is in the hands of the ANC.

It is ironic that the level of violence against white minority rule has changed into criminal violence. South Africa is one of the most violent countries in the world with the highest rate of murders. There used to be a great divide between blacks and whites during the apartheid era, but now there is a great divide among blacks themselves. There are the have and the have-not.

Apartheid in South Africa is now a matter of the past. The struggle to end white minority rule is over. The burden now is on the current black leadership to engage in ending social strife. Otherwise, poor Africans will have no means but to attack the unprotected foreigners who they think, rightly or wrongly, behind their current difficult situation.

Mandela has accomplished his mission as a fighter and head of state. But a country can’t be built just by one man. South Africa still needs a new successful leadership to start a fight against poverty and violence, which still mar the image of South Africa abroad.

Happy birthday Nelson Mandela!

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