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The long walk to freedom ends

By Farai Diza

The AfricaPaper

Contributing Writer

 

QUNU, SOUTH AFRICA — Former South African president Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his rural home of Qunu on Sunday at a high-profile funeral that attracted dignitaries from all corners of the globe who included his Royal Highness Prince Charles, Jesse Jackson, Hollywood celebrity Idriss Elba, Business magnate Richard Branson, Malawian president Joyce Banda, and famed U.S. talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey. Four thousand local and international journalists were accredited to cover the class-one funeral that is the highest honor in South Africa, and it was broadcast in over 100 countries. Mandela passed away a week ago at his Houghton home in Johannesburg after a long fight with a recurring lung infection, and his funeral was unarguably the biggest state funeral in world history. Mandela’s influence in Africa goes far beyond the borders of South Africa, and he is regarded across the continent as the father of democracy. Mandela stopped racism, apartheid and other controversies between the Whites and Blacks. Continue Reading →

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The life and legacy of Nelson Mandela

By Issa A. Mansaray 

Contributing Writer

 

Nelson Mandela, 95, first Black president of South Africa who fought for the freedom of his people and against apartheid, died at about 8:50 pm local time on Thursday. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, current president of South Africa, said, “Our nation has lost its greatest son.”

Mr. Zuma announced in a televised message late Thursday, “Our people have lost a father.” Dressed in black, Zuma added that Mandela’s death is the country’s moment of “deepest sorrow” and that the Mandela family has “sacrificed much and endured so much that our people could be free.”

Mandela has been in and out of the Mediclinic Hospital in Pretoria on more than six separate occasions this year undergoing treatment for lung infection. “His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in an official statement on Thursday evening, adding that the late Mandela was “influential, courageous and profoundly good.”

 

The noble family

Born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, a village close to the banks of the Mbashe River in the Transkei region, Mandela is the most famous South African in the world. His father, Gadla Henry Mphanyiswa Mandela, was a tall, imposing man who settled village quarrels. “I define myself through my father,” Mandela once said. Continue Reading →

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Abuse of women an endless source of column material

When I took this column on, its then-editor made a point to say in a staff meeting, “Don’t repeat yourself.” Dancing on the proverbial dime, I promptly responded, “There won’t be any danger of that.”

Not that I’d done a world of research on domestic abuse or rape: Just having the ability to discern my elbow from a hot rock and at least a modicum of common sense, I could hazard an intuitive leap of faith, so to speak, in man’s inhumanity to woman. As long as the sun came up in the morning and the moon rose at night, men and boys were going to objectify and brutalize women and girls. Sure enough, years later, there’s no shortage of ways to address this disastrous, chronically ongoing dilemma. For instance, only last month, MSR ran the HIH installment, “Men’s hatred of women’s power continues to surface in rape violence” commenting on and decrying that, in India, a victim of gang-rape languished two weeks in hospital beds before dying from the attack. The crime was committed in December. Continue Reading →

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