Lessons To Be Learnt From The World’s Great Icon’s Life Experiences.

By Bheki Ntshingila All Rights Reserved ©

Other

Blurb

This is a reminder that in each person there is a seed of greatness expected to be discovered and to be used to make this world a better one for all who live in it instead of experiencing hatrate and brutality. What makes a person to succeed is not how bad she or he thinks but is high optimism, thinking big, willingness to learn from other's mistakes and life experiences. There is a lot we can learn from Madiba's life experience and I don't doubt that the world is also learning something constructive or destructive from you. If you are not constructive to others, how would you be constructive to yourself? Remember, greatness is a phenomenon that could be associated with anyone with a positive mind. Good, better, best, never let it rest till your good is better and your better is best.

Prologue

This world is beautiful because of someone’s decision, persons who are recognized as champions is because of their decisions and actions, people who are behind bars today is because of their thoughts and actions, our love ones who were with us today but their actions caused them to die and be found in mutuals as an outcome of their bad choices. There is something special about our decisions; a choice determines a person’s future. It is an undoubted truth that some of us have replaced our happiness with sad, we have gone a long way destroying our lives, we only stop when we sleep, a minute we wake up, we continue destroying our lives, our future, our families, communities and the entire world. We are about to reach the final part of detraction and be like those who are nowhere to be seen, and were brutally killed as a result of their poor decisions. We have replaced our families’ excitement with misery and made them to fall into a deepest hole of unhappiest life. Maybe our families or even community members want to see us dead because we are trouble makers, we should change, as this is a symbol of failing to lead ourselves. We have to accept that we are inviting problems in our lives and we will never escape the consequences of our actions. Admitting is more than half-way to the solution.

It is time to choose to do great things. When people build houses especial in suburbs areas, they firstly surround their yards with fence to make sure no one gain access except authorized people. Having a content of where you are going in life is the first step forward, selecting people and associate yourself with those who will help you to overcome your weakness is vital. Seeking knowledge and advice in order to live life of your dream is not a disgrace and dedicating yourself to a lifestyle of daily improvement is the greatest expectation.

You owe yourself what you have promised yourself which will never be demanded from anyone. Your personal responsibilities must not be ignored as we all understand our expectations on a daily basis. Life is not a race but a journey that has ups and downs, we need to use challenges as our stepping stone because they are there to promote us to the next better level of life. Your greatest desire is only reserved for you if you are willing to convert hardships into opportunities and run the race till you win.

Madiba was honoured many times and became a world’s icon because of his tireless sacrifice even if threatening pressures tried and opposed him many times, he never gave up till he met his greatest expectation.

It’s not only South Africa that has a penchant for naming things after Nelson Mandela - there are numerous streets, bridges, educational institutions, buildings, organisms, flowers, statues and monuments around the world that bear his name.

With the help of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, I bring you a far from exhaustive list of some of the places where Mandela’s name can be found.

In South Africa citizens are used to driving down Nelson Mandela Boulevard in Tshwane, wandering through Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, crossing the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, attending the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, living in the Nelson Mandela residential hall at Rhodes University, visiting the Nelson Mandela Museum in the Eastern Cape, trekking the Madiba heritage trail in the Eastern Cape, or holidaying at the swanky Mandela Rhodes Place in Cape Town.

But in Purmerend, Zoetermeer and Arnhem, all in the Netherlands, residents there have their own Mandela Bridges, as do the people of Utrecht, Belgium.

A road by any other name

And just as Bloemfontein residents have their Nelson Mandela Drive, so do the people of Castries, St Lucia, in the Caribbean. In Paris, France, pedestrians can stroll along the Avenue du President Nelson Mandela in Arcueil, located in the city’s southern suburbs, while there is a Nelson Mandela Boulevard in Caracas, Venezuela.

Dakar in Senegal boasts the Avenue Nelson Mandela, and there are more Mandela Avenues in Glamorgan, Harlow and Falkirk, UK; Georgetown, Guyana; and Schrijndel, Netherlands, as well as a Mandela Road in Culemborg, Netherlands, and Uyo, Nigeria.

The UK has several versions of Mandela Close and Mandela Way respectively and there is a Mandela Highway leading into Kingston, Jamaica. Not to be outdone, the authorities in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, have established the grandly designated Nelson Mandela Highway Road, and there are Mandela roads, places, paths, parkways, interchanges, links, courts and streets all around the world.

In Italy, there is a municipality or commune named Mandela, situated in the province of Rome, about 40km northeast of the Italian capital.

A few cities have named stadiums after Mandela besides the Nelson Mandela Multipurpose Stadium in Port Elizabeth, there’s one in Port Louis, Mauritius; in Kampala, Uganda; and in Torrevieja, Spain.


For those who want to do their own long walk while remembering the elder statesman, the Madiba hiking trail in the Eastern Cape passes through his home town of Qunu.

The Mandela Garden in Leeds, UK, as well as the Nelson Mandela ornamental garden in Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, UK, the Nelson Mandela Park in Montreal, Canada, and Mandela Park in Hoorn, Netherlands, offer a chance for peaceful contemplation.

You can even wine and dine in his presence by proxy, at the Café Mandela in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Mandela Bar at Bristol University, or Madiba Restaurant in New York, which has served up peace and love since 1999.

Mandela’s former wife Winnie has not been left out in 1983, the New York City square in front of South Africa’s UN mission became the Nelson and Winnie Mandela Plaza.

Port Louis, Mauritius; New Delhi, India; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; The Hague, Netherlands; Tunis, Tunisia it seems unlikely that any other world icon has so many tributes in so many places.

Education in Mandela’s name

Mandela’s passionate belief in education is reflected in a long list of schools, scholarships, programmes, awards, libraries, centers, chairs, bursaries and funds not just in South Africa or even the continent, but far beyond.

A few of them are the Ecole Nelson Mandela, in Bamako, Mali, the Mandela Children’s Learning School in Compton, US, and the Mandela Institute for Human Rights in the Palestinian National Authority Area, Jerusalem, Israel.

Students at the Nelson Mandela Educational Centre in A Lama, Spain, the Nelson Mandela State International School in Berlin, Germany, the Mandela Supplementary School in London, UK, and the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in New Delhi, India, study under the gaze of one of the world’s most ardent champions for the education of youth.

The Australian High Commission in South Africa awards 20 Australia Mandela scholarships annually, given to academic staff who wishes to study for their masters’ degrees at Australian institutions.

At the University of Michigan, the Dubois Mandela Rodney postdoctoral fellowship is given to scholars studying Africa or the African Diaspora.

A Mandela scholarship fund administered by Leiden University in the Netherlands offers African postgraduate students the chance to study for a year at the university. The Mandela Rhodes Foundation supports the development of leadership capacity in Africa.

Building on the legacy

Needless to say, Mandela himself has been the recipient of numerous awards, honorary degrees, life memberships, civic honours, freedoms of towns and cities, and various other accolades.

According to the Mandela Centre of Memory, the statesman has collected more than 1100 of these honours over the years.

They include the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, which he won jointly with then-president FW de Klerk, and an honorary doctorate in liberal arts from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, in 1997.

He can also add the Civil Order of the First Class from the Sultanate of Oman (1999), the Order of the Lion of Malawi (2001), the freedom of the city and county of Cardiff, Wales (1998), and honorary citizenship of Canada (2001) the first time in history that the honour was given to a living person to his list, as well as hundreds more.

There are a host of living creatures, organisms and plants named after the former president, such as Protea cynaroides Mandela, which was revealed in 1988 as an 80th birthday present; Triacanthella madiba, a species of springtail named by scientists at Stellenbosch University; Australopicus nelsonmandelai, an extinct species of woodpecker named in 2012; an indigenous species of African orb- weaver spider named Singafrotypa Mandela in 2002; the Paravanda Nelson Mandela orchid, named in 1997; and the beautiful Strelitzia reginae Mandela’s Gold, named in 1996.

Some unusual offerings include a landfill site in Georgetown, Guyana, an apartment block in the long-running British television sitcom Only Fools and Horses, called Nelson Mandela House, and a fundamental nuclear particle discovered at Leeds University in 1973 and named the Mandela Particle.

Then there is the nudibranch, or sea slug, Mandelia Micocornata, named in 1999. However, this gesture was eclipsed by the naming of an entire family and genus of sea slugs after him, family Mandeliidae, genus Mandelia.

Poems, stamps, aircraft, racehorses, trees, gold coins and medallions named after him or bearing his likeness there is seemingly no end to the respectful tributes bestowed on this symbol of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Nelson Mandela: activist, political prisoner, president of South Africa, statesman and world icon of peace and justice.

Central Johannesburg at night, looking over the Nelson Mandela Bridge.

Mandela Rhodes Place: modern, yet rooted in heritage, to give its guests an experience of Cape Town.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth.

List of awards and honours bestowed upon Nelson Mandela

. Mandela received more than 260 awards over 40 years, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

From 1994 to 1999, Mandela was President of South Africa. He was the first such African to be elected in fully representative democratic polls.

Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress and its armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe. He spent 27 years in prison, much of it in a cell on Robben Island. The rest of his incarceration was in Pollsmoor Prison, on convictions for crimes that included sabotage committed while he spearheaded the struggle against apartheid.

Following his release from prison on 11 February 1990, his advocacy of a policy of reconciliation and negotiation helped lead the transition to multi-racial democracy in South Africa. Since the end of apartheid, he was widely praised, even by former opponents.

Mandela died on 5 December 2013, a celebrated elderstatesman who continued to voice his opinion on topical issues. In South Africa he was often known as Madiba, an aristocratic title adopted by the elderly members of the royal clan that he belongs to. This title has come to be synonymous with Nelson Mandela.

Today his legacy has decorated the entire world. Nelson Mandela’s life experiences tell us that challenges are there to promote us if we fight them tirelessly and these are great lessons to be learned. Let us use these lessons to rebuild our lives from a positive foundation and leave a mark that will be a tangible evidence of our existence in this world.

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