A lot has been documented regarding Madiba as he is commonly referred to, by his compatriots. He is a unifying symbol of peace, an icon celebrated world over. In fact the UN set out a day to celebrate his life long achievements. He is a man that this generation has tried to ‘kill’ in vain especially in social media but his spirits surpass and overlook the negatives. Just recently, he celebrated his 95th birthday which caught many by surprise due to his deteriorating health.
Madibaism on the other hand is the positives he impacted to the world. He sacrificed his family life to fight for the black South Africans and to liberate them from apartheid and social segregation. As a native African, I draw inspiration from him, Mandela symbolises tolerance, empathy, selflessness, forgiveness and true leadership.
In the midst of the awe we give him, there is more than meets the eye. Am told if you visit South Africa for the first time and probably visit the museums which include the house he used to live in with his family and Robben Island where he spent 18 out of 27 years in prison, you will be told of the positives that we all read in history books. But underneath, there is silent discomfort engineered by the likes of Julius Malema a controversial politician and leader of Economic Freedom Fighters. On the other hand is Azania’s People’s Organisation (AZAPO) which defied the wave of ANC in the 80’s to date. It is a political party formed out of conviction ANC had become bloated and corporatist. This is a party that campaigned for isolation of South Africa during the apartheid era by using trade unions and civic organisation to mobilise black people to fight for their rights.
AZAPO did not support Madiba, and instead blamed him for failing and duping black South Africans. As we speak, 80% of the land in the rainbow nation is owned by whites who form utmost, 10% of the population.Political pundits argue that Madibaism did little to unify its people. After the country gained independence, contrary to expectations, xenophobic cases increased. In 2008, more than 60 people died through a wave of xenophobic violence aimed at Zimbabweans and foreigners in Johannesburg and other cities.
South Africa has been facing a lot of challenges which not even Madiba and his zeal was able to resolve. The quality of education especially for most blacks is sub standard, corruption has undermined state legitimacy and worse still, it remains a deeply divided nation from racism to social classe. In 2007, UNAIDS reported that just under 12% of South Africans have HIV/AIDs making the nation to have the highest number of infected people in any single country in the world. In 2003, unemployment rate averaged at a record high of 32%.
In retrospect, we might have missed the point by forgetting that Madiba is a human being with flaws like everybody. In any case he divorced twice and has had a wrangling family ever since. Perhaps its because he sacrificed a lot for the sake of his nation and probably over looked his own people. As they say, you cannot be everything to everybody. Am convinced he did his best, the ball is now on our side to endeavour in making the world a better place to live in.