In this Feb. 11, 1990 file photo, Nelson Mandela, left, and his wife, Winnie, walk out of the Victor Verster prison in Paarl, near Cape Town, South Africa, after Mr. Mandela had spent 27 years in jail. AP Photo/Greg English
For months I held back the overwhelming desire to mourn. Nelson Mandela lay at death’s door for so many months.
His daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, told SABC television news on Wednesday: "Tata is still with us, strong, courageous. Even, for a lack of a better word ... on his 'deathbed' he is teaching us lessons; lessons in patience, in love, lessons of tolerance.”
Mr. Mandela, 95, died on Thursday.
The tears I shed are not from sadness; they are tears of joy and relief in knowing that the long battle and suffering is over for the man who led the fight and ultimately won the war against apartheid.
He spent nearly a third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid. He faced years of political apathy and opposition from the United States and other powerful European nations; and still he rose to become South Africa’s first black president.
In front of the world he forgave his enemies and oppressors. As he often pointed out, that did not mean forgetting what they did. But it did mean refusing to let himself be ruled by bitterness – and that is the true measure of any man or woman.
Yes, even on his deathbed, he kept teaching us lessons; Lessons in hope, the power of prayer and the importance of fighting for your cause until your last breath.
His life inspired people from all walks of life. You can hear his influence in Toledo’s Latino community.
Several Toledo area Latino community leaders share how Mr. Mandela inspired them
“Nelson Mandela will be remembered as a historic giant in the global fight against oppression that galvanized the gallant struggles of the poor against overwhelming odds.
Perhaps his work was the culmination of Mohandas Gandhi’s early observations of the inequities in South Africa before he found his calling to liberate India from English colonialism.
In no diminished way was his feat less than Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement that stirred the world to action against tyranny of the poor.
I can say without any hesitation that Mandela’s life was equally an inspiration to me to continue to fight against overwhelming odds no less than Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa.”
“Mandela's spirit will always be with us. It is the spirit of people who can't stand complicity with a system based upon the exploitation of one race over others, or of the richest 1 percent over the 99 percent.
It is the spirit of people who do for others without expecting anything back. It is the spirit of those who think that to have peace and a better world for all of us you have to fight for justice.”
Alberto Gonzalez, professor, school of media and communications, Bowling Green State University
“Nelson Mandela was a tremendous inspiration. Mandela's success in abolishing apartheid proved that seemingly permanent institutions for repression could be beaten down.
His success showed that international coalitions could unite behind a clear moral cause. Finally, his success continues to invite us to be reflective of our own society and democracy and to act for equity and inclusion.”
Richard Neller, Editor-in-Chief La Prensa
Whether or not genetically based, it appears that the majority of human beings are very territorial, resulting in frequent cases of discrimination as to race, creed, color, nationality, gender, age, and so forth.
All countries have experienced unjust oppression, even in the United States; e.g., the United States for many years supported slavery, the implementation of relocation camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII, immigration quotas based on origin, and so forth.
It takes courageous individuals such as Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi of India, Raoul Wallenberg of Sweden, Sojourner Truth & Martin Luther King Jr. of the United States, César Chávez of the United States, and Jesus of Nazareth to stand up against such oppression or violations of basic civil rights. They all should be honored and remembered.”
Linda Alvarado, executive director, City of Toledo Board of Community Relations
He was a great inspiration for me as well as many other social activists.
Being a Peace Education and Social Justice Major and activist myself, and now Executive Director for the City of Toledo's Board of Community Relations; I have looked to people such as Nelson Mandela with admiration and inspiration.
I am truly a follower of grass roots organizing that entails educating people out of their own oppression. Therefore, Mr. Mandela exemplifies everything I wish I could do and be a part of here in my own community and city.
He has made a great impact in my life, work and studies."
Dedicated to Nelson Mandela (Dedicada al Nelson Mandela)
Músico Carlos Santana, un partidario de Nelson Mandela, ha escrito muchas canciones que fueron críticos del apartheid durante y después del encarcelamiento del Senor Mandela, como "Liberar a Todas las Personas (en Soweto)." Otras canciones, "Mandela", escribió en honor del líder sudafricano.
Musician Carlos Santana, a supporter of Nelson Mandela, has written many songs that were critical of apartheid during and after the imprisonment of Mr Mandela, such as "Freedom for All People (in Soweto)." Other songs, such as "Mandela," he wrote in honor of the South African leader.