The Father Of A Nation Goes To Rest.
Nelson Mandela has passed away today at the age of 95 after repeated difficulty with a lung infection throughout the year.
”For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - “Madiba”
Born a Xhosa to the Thembu Royal Family, he attended Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, and studied law.
He became a founding member of the Youth League of the African National Congress and in 1955 oversaw the Congress of the People.
Mandela made a name for himself in the Defiance Campaign Against Unjust Laws and speaking out against the implementation of apartheid in South Africa.
Whilst working as a lawyer, he was charged with seditious activities and was prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956-61 but was found not guilty.
He co-founded Umkhonto We Sizwe, the militant wing of the ANC. An affiliation which would find him being labelled a terrorist by his critics.
In 1962 he was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the South African government and served 27 years in prison.
In 1990 he was released after an international movement to secure his freedom. After his release, he became the President of the ANC and led negotiations to abolish apartheid.
In 1994 he became the first black President of South Africa, elected in multi-racial elections that offered universal adult suffrage and thus the first South African to be elected in a fully representative election.
Throughout his life he championed human rights, was a voice for peace and fought to improve the lives of his people regardless of their colour or creed.
He received over 250 international awards, including the Nobel Peace Price, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Order of Lenin. The United Nations declared that July 18th would be “Mandela Day”.
From being the victim of brutal oppression by a racist government that locked him away for life to becoming the President of his country, Nelson Mandela became the voice of peace and human reconciliation in the face of extreme prejudice.
He is, in my opinion, an outstanding representation as one of humanity’s finest people and an inspiration to all.
Gone but never to be forgotten.
"Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement."
San Francisco Batkid is the best thing to happen this week
And maybe even the best thing ever. Who could say no to a young boy who’s celebrating beating his cancer into remission?
Downtown San Francisco, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Greater Bay Area Foundation, city officials and the work of thousands of volunteers, turned into a Gotham City today, complete with villains like the Riddler and Penguin, just waiting for a tiny caped crusader to swoop in.
The San Francisco Chronicle even published a limited-edition “Batkid Saves City” issue.
Read more on young Miles’ struggle, and his eventual superheroics, over at L.A. Now and Share It Now. And if you’re so inspired, head over to the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s site and perhaps help make more dreams come true (once their site is done being swamped by bat-traffic).
Photo: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle
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