This morning I woke up and the world felt a little different.  Our former president slash freedom fighter slash icon slash legend had quietly slipped away yesterday. Some have their theories on when he actually passed away, that this is all a bit of a wag the dog situation by our current president and his cronies and the timing is to cover and all the other dramas and scandal. I don’t know.  I’m not political.  I’m more of a humanitarian, I suppose.

The point is I woke up this morning and the world felt a little emptier. A man who took up a huge space in our hearts and minds had finally found rest. I unfortunately, like many hundreds, can’t post photos of me with him, somewhere in the background,  54th person to the right of the rather oversized man with his hand raised in a V for victory sign, covering my face.

I can however tell you I was in the same room as him a number of times, having done the PR and communications for two of the 46664 concerts. And I can tell you tears slowly trickled down my cheeks in the presence of an amazing man, human being.  I can’t explain the feeling. It’s a humility, a strength, that X factor.  Forgive me for being  little flippant but if he were to enter Idols or America’s Got Talent he’d win based on his IT factor.

This morning I am thankful for a father, a grandfather, a son who allowed me to experience family. Without his sacrifices and belief in what this country could be, I wouldn’t be a mom to two amazing children. I wouldn’t be allowed in public places with them and they wouldn’t be getting an education.  Without him my children wouldn’t have experienced flying in an airplane. They wouldn’t have felt waves lapping at their feet at a ‘whites only’ beach.

Thank you to a man who changed the way a lot of people see things.  Thank you to a great man who changed a country.  Thank you to a leader, an icon, a legend who changed my world.

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4 thoughts on “What he meant to me

  1. This is a quote that comes to mind when I think of this great man.
    “To laugh often and much;
    To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
    To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
    To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
    To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
    This is to have succeeded.” Emmerson

    To me he will always be a picture of the power of forgiveness and love that conquers all. He inspires me in that through trials and tribulations and endless persecution, he became BETTER not BITTER.

  2. Honestly, your story epitomizes this new South Africa, and all that Madiba did for us. I'm so grateful to be able to know families like yours. RIP Tata.

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