In honor of one of the greatest champions of the cause of racial equality, I would like to post this brief poem by John Matshikiza to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Tata Madiba, Nelson Mandela.
"And I Watch It In Mandela"
It is not for the safety of silence
That this man has opened his arms to lead
The strength of his words hangs in the air
As the strength of his eyes remains on the sky
And the years of impatient waiting draw on
While this man burns to clear the smoke in the air
There is fire here
Which no prison
Can kill in this man;
And I watch it in Mandela.
This poem was written in the darkest days of Mandela's movement, when Madiba himself was in prison, even though he had done no wrong and committed no verifiable crime.
Nelson Mandela was not a visionary belonging to one nation on one continent, as Martin Luther King, Jr. was. No, Madiba belonged to everyone. He fought for the equality of ALL races, in ALL nations. His is a legacy that will endure long beyond anyone who has lived through his era on this Earth, and that legacy will leave a mark on the people of this world forever.