Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was one of most prolific leaders of the 20th century. At a young age, he developed a great sense of morality, which became the foundation of his political ideology. Mandela sacrificed the majority of his life fighting for the liberation of South Africans from the grip of white dominance perpetuated by the former apartheid state. The love his people had for him and the African National Congress is unmatched and clearly evident today. The South African people are eternally grateful for Mandela’s sacrifices, and there is a general hope that his passing will inspire a new generation of freedom fighters to fix the economic legacies of apartheid, which continue to stifle the young republic’s growth. In 2013, South Africa has one of the highest disparities of wealth in the world, an average life expectancy of 43 years and a highly underdeveloped manufacturing sector that keeps the unemployment rate well above 50 percent. All are significant problems. However, Mandela’s achievements have created an equal political and social arena where these wrongs can and will be corrected.
We thank you, Madiba.
Howard University class of 2016
Sophomore African-American studies major