Today, we are laying to rest the great African leader Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Dec. 5 at the age of 95. Of his long life, he spent 27 years in prison and 23 years after that in freedom as a political activist, a president, a leader, an inspiration to the African continent, a Nobel laureate and a symbol of the struggle for a better world. In the days since he left this life, newspapers and television stations around the world have discussed the details of Mandela’s life, from his birth and adolescence to his fight for freedom and his leadership after his release from prison. They have assessed the period he spent in power and his relationship with other world leaders, especially American ones. Some of these leaders, such as Ronald Reagan, branded him a terrorist, while others, such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, regarded him as a beacon of freedom and hope.
There is little that one can add to the information about this man’s life that has not already been said. But there still remains the question as to why this type of man is so rare.
The makings of a freedom fighter
This region has produced quite a few national liberation leaders, but none with a vision that extended beyond ending colonial ruleAbdel Monem Said