Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nothing gives credence to the oft used mournful and nostalgic statement that '... it will be difficult to fill his shoes ....' than Nelson Mandela's death . His demise is a stark reminder that Africa is a continent bereft of visionary , vocational , dedicated and nationalistic leaders . No president in Africa today can hold a candle to Nelson Mandela in terms of vision , charisma , personality and principals . Mandela is perhaps the only African leader known in Europe and especially America where youngsters , through a curious educational system that is all about themselves , have been internalized to believe Africa is a medieval forest full of savages and maneaters . Twenty seven years of hard labour and seclusion are enough to poison anyones mind but Mandela refused to be consumed by hatred , teamed up with white president De klerk and unified a country on the brink of racial violence . Mandela's reign was the most tranquil in South Africas troubled history . At the end of only one term , Mandela called it quits in a continent where presidents either die in office or are killed in office . Mandela once opined that true freedom , among other things , is to live in a way that respectsand enhances the freedom ofothers . In kenya today , we are busy building a caste system , muzzling the press , disabling the judiciary and stepping on the citizens sore toes . Those in authority dont actively care about anybody else .Look at the Democratic Republic of Congo , Uganda , Sudan , Zimbabwe , Liberia , Ivory coast , Kenya included , and visualise how far , with our naturally endowed resources , these countries would have gone in their years of independence with a 'Mandela' as president . What do we have instead ? Fear , wars and hatred . There is more ethnic hatred in Kenya today than at indepedence .How often have we heard African leaders champion the cause of something outside African which does not affect their comfortable lifestyles ? Mandela refused to accept South Africa was free as long as palestine was still under bondage . He was the type of leader that looked at you and saw a human being . He did not see either Zulus , kikuyu , luhya , Arab or Luos . He neither saw the Inkatha , CORD , Umkhoto we sizwe or Jubilee . Who else apart from Mandela ever left his political opponent as acting head of state for a couple of days ? The best we can do for Mandelas legacy is actively espouse what he stood for .

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