I’m really scared that Nelson Mandela’s going to die while I’m out of the country. [Read up.]
If that sounds selfish to you, that’s because it probably is.
I want to be around when South Africa experiences its figurative tsunami. South Africans are an emotional people, and they’ve been through a lot. They’re also an immensely proud people. And no one makes them more proud, and I mean NO ONE, than former President Nelson Mandela.
Madiba is more than just a figure. He’s more than just a hero. He’s the representation of everything South Africa needed to believe in to come out of the hell they were in. He’s the mascot of democracy and hope. He’s the glue that held this nation together for a long time. His passing will be the moment when the fates remove their fingers from holding the porcelain pieces of South Africa’s shell together and, with millions holding their breath, see if it holds together.
To be honest, I know this country’s built of stronger stuff than the nostalgic memory of a man. But man, it’s hard to imagine a South Africa without Madiba. It really is. He is no less than a legend, and to use that word on anyone after him would really be to weaken its power.
So, coming back to my original statement, I want to be there when the wave hits. I want to be part of the mourning. I want to watch a nation fall to its knees with tears and gasps, because I want to watch it pick itself up afterwards. The first staggered steps will be beautiful, because they’ll be unified.
South Africa will have to learn how to breathe again after Madiba’s lungs have failed him.
[My prayers and love to him and his family.]