Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nelson Mandela Returns To His Birthplace: “He Is Son Of The Soil Here”



Nelson Mandela has retired from the public spotlight and returned to his place of birth, Mvezo.  At the age of 93, such action is to be expected.   ABC News reports that African correspondent Ginny Stein traveled to Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa to obtain more details about Mr. Mandela’s return home.


Stein interviewed  Zandisa Gwele, who grew up close to where Mr. Mandela spent his early childhood.  Gwele said: ”According to our African tradition an old man, or any old person, must come back home and rest and wait for his last day.  Our icon, Nelson Mandela was born here. He is the son of the soil here.”

Mvezo sits on a hill, overlooking a valley where Mr. Mandela’s children from his first marriage are buried.  Stein added: “There is speculation here, that this is where he himself will one day be buried.  The land here is tribal land and belongs to the Thembu kingdom.  Mr. Mandela was born at the time of kings – while those titles remain, for many royal descendants, that’s the total of their inheritance.”

Stein also interviewed Prince Zwelithini Mfolozi who said: ”I’ve heard that as for now Nelson Mandela is no longer be out.  He will always be here at home till to the end of his life.  So I think and I have a hope that, after the death of Nelson Mandela, maybe there are some things which may go smooth, those which he was supposed to do for us in his time of living.”

Nelson Mandela served as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.  A staunch anti-apartheid activist, he spent 27 years in prison, refusing to change his political position on the issue although doing so could have insured his release from prison.  His anti-apartheid activism quickly defined him as one of South Africa’s most powerful Black leaders.  A strong supporter of AIDS activism, Mr. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Shani K. Collins is a freelance writer.  You may visit her at www.shanicollins.com

1 comment:

Ruby from NJ said...

Nelson Mandela is a truly great man. He suffered much for his people and would not give in in order to have an easier sentence. I am proud to live on this Earth while he is here.