NELSON MANDELA: A Legacy Not Honored

Much has happened since Nelson Mandela’s passing, and none of it is good. In Mandiba’s absence the “Rainbow Nation” he so valiantly struggled to build has turned decidedly gray.

Nelson Mandela Wallpaper Design By mRm

The magnificent vision of Africa’s great statesman has been selfishly squandered and corrupted by the lesser men that unfortunately succeeded him.

The current incumbent of South Africa’s presidency, Jacob Zuma, being the most egregious. Zuma has eroded the institutions of government (both the constitution and the checks-and-balances of democracy) by his flaunting display of self-interest, corruption and tribal cronyism; all in his effort to protect his illicit financial gains by using that nation’s treasury as his personal piggy bank.

Zuma

Alas, I anticipated this. In the closing chapter of my South African themed novel The Zebra Affaire I wrote the following as a final coda:

But former prisoner Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela had no desire to become a sovereign: he relinquished the power voluntarily—so refreshing on a continent where provincial tyrants strive to rule forever.

But here I remain fearful (though I dearly hope to be proven wrong). Mandela was the nation’s talisman—his very presence held the various peoples of South Africa on a rainbow path of dignity and equality, and by his noble example all tribal rivalries were set aside and all were welcomed at the table.

But now he’s gone, I fear the quiet vow of loyalty to his vision of a united South Africa will be abrogated. With Mandela no longer living, lesser mortals will not feel bound by any allegiance to the “Father of the Nation”; instead, in a lust for power, they will once again unleash the tribal tensions that have forever plagued the continent.

But rather than dwell on the bleak let us be hopeful that in remembering Mandela’s legacy, the South African people will duly honor his life by electing future leaders, based on merit, not cronyism.

(How about a woman? Now that would be something!)

In doing so they would honor the hope and desire for all-equality, with no single individual above the law.

Indeed, that was Nelson Mandela’s life’s work. 

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FINE REVIEW: “A Dream Fulfilled” ~ Former Freedom Fighter, Ambassador & Author, Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe. A Riviting Personal Story of Sacrifice for Human Freedom.

A Dream FulfilledA Dream Fulfilled by Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Thandi Lujabe-Ranko, the subject of this fine and authoritative autobiography, which outlines for us, in sometimes uncompromising terms, the journey taken by herself – from the cauldron of apartheid, through various postings in exile to a triumphant return to the native land. A quiet, unassuming though single-minded woman, Thandi represents the best that any country can offer. I urge you to read this book as it will not only inform you but will become one of the most important records of the invincibility of the human spirit.”

These are NOT my words, but I discovered them in the forward of “A Dream Fulfilled.” Imagine my delight when I saw that they’d been written by NELSON MANDELA. Of course, I agree with Mandela’s assessment of this fine book.

In a time when we see ambassadorships cavalierly handed out as rewards to those who merely “bundled” the most money for a presidential election, it is gratifying to see that in the tip of Africa a diplomat received her High Commissioner appointment to represent her nation based solely on merit. And boy, did she earn it: The Hard Way! In reading Ambassador Lujabe-Rankoe’s harrowing story, it becomes evident how difficult her journey was; the personal cost was awful. But in telling her story, the ambassador deservedly indicts the brutal apartheid regime. But she displays generous grace and humor to those that were kind.

Thandi was always destined to serve, but her early ambitions to be a nurse in South Africa were crushed by early activism protesting the apartheid laws. As she became immersed in the freedom struggle, she found herself in danger, and fled her native land. With the threat of death a constant, due to the apartheid regime’s sustained efforts to assassinate the ANC leadership, Thandi (often with a child in tow) was constantly on the move to various destinations in Africa, and even Norway. I was amazed at this formidable woman’s ability to adapt to these new communities, cultures, and societies–yet, at the same time successfully championing all humanities cause.

And that is what finally makes the reading of this book so satisfying: Redemption. After 33 years in exile (and after Mandela’s 27 years of imprisonment), both their dreams were finally fulfilled with Nelson Mandela’s 1994 ascendency to the presidency. And as a fitting reward for her profound contribution to the freedom struggle (not merely based on gratuitous political favors) Ambassador Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe was appointed High Commissioner, with the mandate of representing her first-time free nation to the world. And as ambassador, and knowing so well the countries she was posted (due to her past travels) she served her nation brilliantly.

I strongly recommend this book those who appreciate autobiographies and memoirs, African studies, political science, 20th Century world history, women empowerment, stories of personal courage and sacrifice, and compelling tales of inspiration.

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Introducing you to a remarkable woman of Africa, THANDI LUJABE-RANKOE

Introducing you to a remarkable woman, THANDI LUJABE-RANKOE; Freedom fighter, Senior South African Diplomat and Author. 

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Exiled for 33 years during South Africa’s liberation struggle (at the time Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island).

Finally, she came in from the cold and President Mandela appointed, now Ambassador Lujabe-Rankoe, as her free nation’s High Commissioner to Botswana, and then Mozambique.

 “Now it is time for justice to be applied to all.”Thandi quote

Needless to say this courageous woman’s kind words regarding  The Zebra Affaire means a great deal to me. She has lived it, and continues to devote her life to the idea that “it is time for justice to be applied to all.”