Take a Leaf Out of Nelson Mandela’s Book

Take a Leaf Out of Nelson Mandela’s Book


mandela-long-walk-to-freedomOver the week-end Brenda and I watched a film called A Long Walk To Freedom. It is a story about the life of Nelson Mandela, based on his autobiography.

It charts his life from his early upbringing in a remote African village, through his years as a successful young lawyer fighting for the rights of black Africans under the white dominated apartheid years. Following his rise to prominence in the ANC and subsequent trial and life imprisonment on Robben Island.

On 9 October 1963 Nelson Mandela joined ten others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Rivonia Trial. While facing the death penalty and against the advice of his legal advisers he made the following statement to the court.

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a mandela-long-walk-to-freedom autobiographydemocratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

On 11 June 1964 Nelson Mandela and seven other accused were sentenced to life imprisonment. He was to remain in prison until February 1990.

During the following years, he was instrumental in official talks to end white minority rule and in 1991 was elected the ANC President. In 1993 he and President FW de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize and on 27 April 1994 he voted for the first time in his life.

On 10 May 1994 he was inaugurated South Africa’s first democratically elected President.

Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite appalling provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life is an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; and to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation.

He died at his home in Johannesburg on 5 December 2013.

So what has this to do running an online business I hear you ask?

Well Mandela was undoubtedly a great man, no doubt flawed like the rest of us, but he had a dream and a vision and was not prepared to give up on his dream despite all the adversity. Being imprisoned for nearly 28 years didn’t break his resolve. His persistence eventually resulted in the overthrow of an oppressive regime and the installation of the country’s first democratically elected government.

Faced with this adversity, lesser human beings would have been crushed, but Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to us all to follow our dreams and believe in our vision.

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