Nelson Mandela - A Tribute on his Birthday

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

Today, 18 July 2014, would have been Nelson Mandela's 96th birthday. Sadly he is no longer in the land of the living. He had died on December 5, 2013.

Without any doubts Nelson Mandela has distinguished himself as an International icon never to be forgotten. His dignity, compassion, forgiving nature, sense of justice and desire to reconcile instead of avenge all that was wrong, were but only a few of his characteristics that commanded the love and respect of people all over the world.

I was born in 1957 - 7 years before Nelson were sentenced-to-Life-in-Prison. Like millions of other South-Africans, I saw him for the first time on February 11, 1990, when he was-released-from prison-after-27-years.

Glued to our chairs, we waited for him to prove himself as the heartless terrorist, the bomber of innocent people.

We expected the worse.

Something in the line of the Russian Revolution.

To the contrary, Mandela surprised us all. His focus was on the future. "Let bygones be bygones."

“Never, never and never again shall this beautiful land again experience the oppression of one by another," he said.

On May 10, 1994 during his Inaugural Address he clearly stressed: “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.”

Nelson Mandela's Inaugural Address On May 10, 1994

In the history class we learnt about

The 'Voortrekkermonument' in commemoration of the 'Groot Trek' (1835 to 1852) of the Afrikaner pioneers who had left the Cape Colony where they'd suffered under British rule.
The 'Voortrekkermonument' in commemoration of the 'Groot Trek' (1835 to 1852) of the Afrikaner pioneers who had left the Cape Colony where they'd suffered under British rule.
The Nasionale Vrouemonument in commemoration of 27000 Afrikaner women and children who died in the concentration camps set up by the British during the Second Anglo-Boere war (1899  1902)
The Nasionale Vrouemonument in commemoration of 27000 Afrikaner women and children who died in the concentration camps set up by the British during the Second Anglo-Boere war (1899 1902)
The Afrikaans Language Monument in commemoration of Afrikaans being declared an official language in SA separate from Dutch on 5 May 1925
The Afrikaans Language Monument in commemoration of Afrikaans being declared an official language in SA separate from Dutch on 5 May 1925

Why haven't I heard of Nelson Mandela while I was a child?

I was already the mother of two pre-school children when I heard for the first time of a man called Nelson Mandela who had been sentenced to jail for life on June 12, 1964.

How could you not have known what was happening all around you, I hear you ask.

Well, I was wrapped in the love of my parents. My parents - the best in the world - and their peers would never upset their children with any scary realities. The white children of decent parents were not allowed to see, or hear, anything of the bad and the ugly. We were Christians, not 'in' this world, but merely 'from' this world, 'children of God', already heart and soul with Jesus in Heaven. Whatever we have done wrong, was forgiven and forgotten by God already 2000 years ago, when Jesus had died in the place of all sinners. We were 'possessed by the Holy Spirit.

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. – Isaiah 1:18

The devil and 'his children' were the only scoundrels in our daily lives. HE - the devil - and his children were forever trying to get us in trouble, trying to convince us that we were NOT SUPPOSED to obey our parents, teachers or any of our respected elders, for "honour thy father and thy mother (in other words all authorities) that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Yip, believe it or not, we were children of God. Baptised when we were still babies. Besides school, we also attended Sunday school, diligently obtained our diplomas and stamps to be confirmed at the age of 18 as members of our church - the 'only right' church in the eyes of God. Of course, those who did not agree with our interpretations of God's Word and Will, were our enemies, and we prayed for them.

But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you….” – Matthew 5:44.

Yes, we Coetsers and all our friends were wrapped in the love of our godly parents, teachers and all our superiors, like angels in snow-white clouds.


I was in my early twenties when the black children, who were living in 'their own towns" where they attended 'their own schools and churches", started to burn down their schools.

WTH? Were they crazy?

And so I have taken an interest in politics.....

But information revealed by newspapers were vague and did not make any sense to me. Books about Nelson Mandela and the ANC were banned and nowhere to be found. Nobody I knew could give me the information demanded by my inquisitive mind.

In the meanwhile Life went on. The (Appartheid's) government was in charge, I thought. If it was not for the 'terrorists in the townships' and the 'communists on our borders', South Africa would have been a heaven on earth, I thought while struggling from pay-day to pay-day to meet my own ends.

Some facts I was not aware of -

Being born on 18 July 1918, Mandela was almost forty years my senior. An entire generation existed between him and myself - the generation of my parents and their peers. By the time I was born, Apartheid was already established by my parent's parents, those esteemed members of the National Party who came into power in 1948.

Ten distinguished black African tribes - 70% of South Africa's population - were already living in their own homelands - which covered in total 13% of the entire South Africa. What an unfair distribution, I would have said if I was my grandmother.

  • 70% of the population restricted to 13% of the country.
  • 30% white, yet they had 87% of the entire country.
  • Hellowho!

But then, my grandmother was uneducated like the majority Afrikaans-speaking whites. She had passed Grade 6, in other words she could count, read an write, and she knew just enough of maths to prevent the travelling Jew from crooking her out of the little money she had to her disposal to run her large household of eleven children.

And my grandfather and the majority Afrikaans-speaking people were on the same level, but benefiting from the government's "successful" effort - Apartheid - to pull poor whites out of the swamps of poverty.

Coloured people, unique South Africans, descendant from the European pioneers who had married native Africans and other non-white immigrants, were also disenfranchised and separated from all other races. Indians, too, were not regarded as ‘whites’ and bound to restricted areas and subjected to "White Only" laws.

The year I was born something traumatic happened to my mother. Her best friend was unexpectedly classified as a Coloured and forced by law to sacrifice her future in the shoes of a white man's bride. One day I will write her story.

History was one of my favourite subjects in school. But that was all about Jan van Riebeeck who came to South Africa in 1652, all the way from the Netherlands to establish a halfway house for ships in the most southern region of Africa, and about his and his successor's great achievements, and about the horrors that were caused by the British Empire. Our history books taught us all about our courageous ancestors, the Voortrekkers, who have mobilized the Groot Trek and conquered our Promise Land all the way up to the Limpopo River.

To make a long story short - I knew about the struggles of my white ancestors who were born in South Africa, and everything about my language - a dialect of Dutch, named Afrikaans - only accepted as an official language in 1925.

Yes, I learned all about the history of 'my people' even before I entered adulthood.

So, where were the blacks? Who was Nelson Mandela? According to my interpretation of reality: Black people were "working" all around us, "just there", doing what they were supposed to do.

Adults never discussed any ‘adult-topics’ in the presence of children. A child who dared entering a space where adults were socializing, was promptly confronted,

“Can we take out our teeth for you to count?"

"If you have a complaint, go to the magistrate before the streets get covered with devil's thorn.”

To try again to make a long story short - I grew up in the era of Apartheid, truly convinced that everything was just the way it should be,

In the meantime I was living in the proverbial Fool's Paradise.

Picture shot in Klerksdorp Museum - a visual representation of the jail it was in the 19th century
Picture shot in Klerksdorp Museum - a visual representation of the jail it was in the 19th century
Nelson Mandela staring out of the window of the cell he occupied while he was imprisoned on Robbin Island.
Nelson Mandela staring out of the window of the cell he occupied while he was imprisoned on Robbin Island. | Source


was something I was not aware of while I was a child in my parent’s home. During the week my father was a lecturer at a technical college; weekends he was a missionary, preaching the gospel in the language of the Africans in our region, Sesotho. There was no church for them; the churches in the region were ‘for whites only’. So, Sunday afternoons our garage was filled with blacks, singing hallelujahs and hanging on the lips of my father, allowing him to tranquillize them with scriptures like -

  • Colossians 3:17: "And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him."
  • Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Nelson Mandela stated the conditions in South Africa clearly during the Rivonia Trial (1963 - 1964): “SA is the richest country in Africa... only whites enjoy what may well be the highest standard of living in the world, whilst Africans live in poverty and misery... compulsory education for all white children at virtually no cost, while similar facilities are not provided for the African children... approximately 40 per cent of African children in the age group seven to fourteen do not attend school...”


It was on the news:

12 July 1989: "... after his meething with Mr. Mandela in jail the State President, Mr. PW Botha, confirmed that Mr. Mandela will not be released..."

What? Who? Why?

I was too busy with my own life to find answers for any gnawing political issues. Besides being a wife, mother, sister, sister-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law and friend, I needed and wanted to focus on my businesses, music instruments, poems, journals, photo albums, not to talk about focusing on God and ‘his’ church where I overloaded myself with responsibilities of all sorts.

With only one ear I listened to news bulletins about riots in African townships. How could ‘they’ burn their schools and trains and busses? Exactly how barbaric were ‘they’ to kill their own neighbors with necklaces of burning tires? Can one really blame the Police when they shoot those crazy ringleaders? I pondered in total ignorance.

I had no idea how intense and serious the social issues of Africans were until 1994, when I bought and read Nelson Mandela’s biography, ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.

If YOU have not yet read this book from the first to the very last page, DO NOT even bother to share your thoughts with me.

Letter written by Nelson for his readers:

Dear Reader

When I was seven, my father decided to give me something he had never enjoyed – an education. Ever since then, I have been able to appreciate the value of reading and lifelong learning.

This book is my personal contribution to developing and strengthening a culture both of learning and reading in South Africa. It is a shortened version of my Biography, ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, and has been written so that everyone can share my experience.

But it is not my story. It is the story of all of us and our struggle to be free. I hope you will enjoy reading it.


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela


A summary of some important facts about Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela -

Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in the tiny village Mvezo on the banks of the Mbashe River. He was born into the Madiba clan, which are part of the Thembu tribe. Madiba was the name of a Thembu chief who ruled in the 18th century.

The name Rolihlahla means ‘pulling the branch of a tree’ - an idiom for ‘troublemaker’. He was named by his father, Chief Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, who was a member of the Thembu Royal family and the principal councilor to the king. Rolihlahla’s mother, Nosekeni Fanny, was the third of his father’s four wives. Together they had three daughters and one son, Rolihlahla.

At the age of seven Rolihlahla’s father sent him to school even though formal education was not imposed by Law or Thembu custom. It was a local mission school where the names of African students were promptly changed to a more ‘civilized’ name. Rolihlahla became Nelson.

At the age of nineteen Nelson joined Justice at Healdtown, the biggest college in the country for Africans with over one-thousand students. There, Nelson recalled the principal, Dr. Arthur Wellington, tried to turn students into ‘black Englishmen’.

At the age of twenty-one Nelson continued his studies at the university of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape. Established in 1916. This university was a key institution in higher education for Africans. Only the cream of African society went there; Nelson was one of the exclusive 150 students. During his second year he was elected onto the Students’ Representative Council, but he reclined his position as it did not have the power students expected it to have.

Before Nelson could graduate, he was confronted with another custom of his people, namely arranged marriages. To avoid his, he fled to Johannesburg where he worked for a short while as a mine policeman and then as a clerk at one of the largest law firms. At the end of 1942 he completed his Bachelor's Degree in Arts through the University of South Africa (Unisa) and continued with his study LL.B. studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. He reaped the fruit of his studies when he opened his own law office in August 1952.

In 1944, at the height of the Second World War, Nelson and fifty-nine young members of the ANC formed a group in order to transform the ANC into a more radical mass movement and to establish African Nationalism and Liberation. They called themselves the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL). In 1948 Nelson was elected as the league’s National Secretary. This was the same year the National Party (of the whites) won the (white-only) elections. Their goal was to establish Apartheid. The ANCYL decided to set boycott, strike, civil disobedience and non-co-operation as their Program of Action. Nelson’s participation as a leader in the Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws eventually led to his life imprisonment on June 12, 1964. For almost three decades he would be Prisoner 466/64.

The Struggle for Freedom continued while he was in prison. On his release on February 11, 1990, he was able to pursue his strive to demolish injustice in South Africa. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa – as they were banned for decades - Mandela was elected President of the ANC, and on May 10, 1994 he was inaugurated as the first President of a democratic South Africa.

Nelson loved to dance on stage whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Nelson loved to dance on stage whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Nelson Mandela, along with the last president of the Apartheid regime, FW de Klerk, won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize
Nelson Mandela, along with the last president of the Apartheid regime, FW de Klerk, won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize

An extract of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration speech -

“...We understand that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign.”

After only one term as President, Nelson stepped down in 1999. He founded three foundations: The Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and The Mandela-Rhodes Foundation.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against African domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic 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,” Nelson said in April 20, 1964.

Monday, on his 93rd birthday, Nelson will be able to repeat these words, knowing that he had, indeed, achieved his goal.

Nelson Mandela and Evelyn Mase (1944)
Nelson Mandela and Evelyn Mase (1944)
Nelson Mandela and Nomzamo Winnifred Madikizela (1957)
Nelson Mandela and Nomzamo Winnifred Madikizela (1957)
Nelson Mandela married Graa Machel (1998)
Nelson Mandela married Graa Machel (1998)

The women in Nelson Mandela’s life -

Against the tradition of his people, Nelson married Evelyn Mase in a civil ceremony at the Native Commissioner’s Court in Johannesburg in 1944. They had four children, of whom one died in infancy. They separated in 1955 and finally divorced in 1958.

He fell in love with Nomzamo Winnifred Madikizela (Winnie) in 1957. She was eighteen years younger than himself and highly educated with a degree in social work and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations. She was a qualified Social Worker at the Baragwanath Hospital when he saw her by chance, waiting at a bus stop. He was struck by her beauty. They were married in 1958 and had two daughters, Zenani and Zindzi. For twenty-seven-and-a-half years they were forced by Nelson’s imprisonment to live apart which eventually took its toll when they divorced on 19 March 1996.

On his 80th birthday in 1998 Nelson Mandela married Graça Machel, the widow of the former president of Mozambique, Samora Machel.

Nelson Mandela's Death and Funeral


On 5 December 2013, after suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, Nelson Mandela died in his home at the age of 95. Representatives of countries all over the world attended his funeral on 15 December in his home-valley, Qunu.

“Good Morning, Mr Mandela”

“Good Morning, Mr Mandela”

Good Morning, Mr. Mandela: A Memoir by Zelda la Grange

Zelda la Grange, a white Afrikaner woman who grew up in segregated South Africa, raised as a racist but utterly transformed when she became Nelson Mandela’s private secretary, shares her memories of almost two decades on his side in her book “Good Morning, Mr Mandela.”

“President Nelson Mandela’s choice of the young Afrikaner typist Zelda la Grange as his most trusted aide embodied his commitment to reconciliation in South Africa. She repaid his trust with loyalty and integrity. I have the highest regard for her.” — Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Happy Birthday, Madiba!

Dear Nelson Mandela, down here in the small country, South Africa, you were considered to be a terrorist by a handful of ignorant and self-involved whites, who were for some reason not able to understand that ALL humans were HUMANS regardless of the color of their skins. (And sadly, some of those racists are still alive, infecting the minds and hearts of their children with hate, intolerance and all kinds of characteristics associated with evil.) However, in comparison to the rest of the people in this world, who have recognized you as one of the wisest and most respected leaders ever known, 'they' are not worthy to be mentioned.

Mr. Mandela, you were an epitome of courage, willpower, determination, self-control, endurance, integrity, forgiveness, and all the esteemed qualities we humans call 'divine', or in the nature of God.

Rest in Peace while your legacy of equality, peace, forgiveness and humanity continue to change the world, and especially South Africa, for the better.

© Martie Coetser


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Comments 68 comments

bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 5 years ago from Tyler, TX

Outstanding and very thorough. You're part of the new South Africa!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

bohemiotx – Thanks for your comment. Sometimes I wonder how it would have been if the National Party did not win the election in 1948. Take care!

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

You did a great job putting this Hub together. It is informative, emotional but not saccharin. I enjoyed reading it and learned a lot about South Africa and Mr. Mandela.

junko profile image

junko 5 years ago

The truth in review as seen by a new South African. The truth lights up the future. Vote up & useful.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is great Martie. You've written some facts that i was unaware of. I had no idea he had been married that many times. I've always admired his courage and determination to heal the damage done to his people. He will be remembered as a kind man who was persecuted unjustly. Thank you for sharing this.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Hyphenbird – Since I became active on the Internet I’ve learnt a lot about other countries and their people, and in the process my admiration and respect for Nelson Mandela grew. Thanks for reading and assuring me with you comment that I’ve reached my goal with this hub. Shoot me whenever I’m like saccharin :)

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

*** junko – Thanks for your vote. True – the truth lights up the future, but most people are short-sighted. What is regarded today by the short-sighted and narrow-minded as the truth, always reveal itself as fraud in the future. Take care!

*** always exploring – The Rivonia Trial, which led to the life-sentence of Nelson Mandela and his co-‘radicals’, opened the eyes of many whites in this country, but unfortunately they were not in a position to change the trend of events. Healing the damage will most probably take another thirty years. Unfortunately we tend to cause damage while we heal damage; what ends up for the good for some, ends up for the bad for others, at least at a certain point of time. Thanks for the visit, Ruby. Enjoy your weekend.

junko profile image

junko 5 years ago

Martie, It's up to the talented 10% to hold the light higher and out of reach of the the short- sighted and narrow-minded. Let your light shine again and again.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Junko - I share your view on this :)))

kirutaye profile image

kirutaye 5 years ago from London, UK

A great tribute, Martie! Happy Birthday Mandiba!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

kirutaye – What a surprise to see you! I’ve read your ‘kiss’ story this morning – (weekend bodyguard) - but could for some reason not get my comment posted. Thanks for taking the time to read my tribute to Madiba.

Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Wow, I can't believe he is 93 - how fast it all flies by! Great tribute and lots of interesting information that I was not aware of! Thanks for sharing Martie!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for a very useful and interesting hub, Martie. You've told a very important story and shared information that is new to me.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Enjoyed. Flag up and awesome!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

*** Chatkath

*** AliciaC

*** dallas93444

It’s wonderful to know you enjoyed this hub about a man who has changed the future of our country. Because of his extra-ordinary ability to understand the basic, selfish urge of a human soul - that piece of evil in us that make us greedy and blind for the needs of others, he did not seek revenge, but justice. He set an example that is not only worth following by all leaders in this world, but by all people. He really practiced, and still does, the rule ‘forget about the past and build a better future’. Thank you so much for your comments.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Thank you, Martie, for this beautifully written tribute to Nelson Mandela and for sharing all this information about his life and life's work. He is a remarkable leader who managed to make a difference for all South Africans.

And you, m'dear, are a remarkable and exceptional writer as well. Rated way up.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

drbj – Thank you so much for agreeing with me about Nelson Mandela. Although we whites down here ‘feel’ we are loosing everything we had built during the Apartheid’s regime, and we suffer tremendously under affirmative actions and bad customer services due to unskilled and unqualified people appointed in important positions in all sectors, the most of us realize that the National Party, not to talk about The Church (of Christ), misled us all the way. One cannot build happiness on the unhappiness of another. The needs and desires of all parties involved must be rightly met.

They – the whites – were at that time (40’s) obsessed with their traumatic past – since the beginning of their arrival in SA; they were not able to look far enough ahead in the future.

The ‘fighting’ for land and the ‘claiming’ of it as one’s possession is a human tendency (called Greed, I suppose) that had caused – and still does – 99% tragedies on this planet, if not 100%.

Thanks so much for the compliment about my writing. I really need it, for I will probably always feel incompetent as a writer in English. You are such an inspiration for me! Thanks.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Well written Hub, Martie! Up and everything but funny.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very beautiful hub and this is a way you adore a great people like Mandela. He is one of my favorite figure. Thanks for writing and share with us. I am glad to know this from and I just want to say, Happy Birthday...Mandela". Vote it up!


Jewels profile image

Jewels 5 years ago from Australia

I admire Nelson Mandela immensely and your hub is a great tribute to him.

SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

The first time I heard of Nelson Mandela was when at the end of her speech in the UN (1986) our new president Cory Aquino, fresh from the peaceful transition of dictatorship via the peoples Edsa revolution voice her support to the then imprison Mandela.The phrase "A few good men (and women)....comes to mind. Her husband Ninoy who was imprison by the dictatorship for almost eight years before being allowed to go to the US for a heart by pass decided to return despite threats to his life.(he was shot at the airport on his arrival) in hopes of persuading the ruling clique to return to democratic rule. He stated that despite the years of suffering he no longer harbor feelings of hate nor would he seek vengeance against his persecutors and that his only concern was for the people's welfare. Years of solitary confinement did not break their will but instead gave them a kind of spiritual strength and understanding of a higher power.They had to first overcome their own human frailties of pride and prejudice. And this is what differentiate mere achievement from greatness. Thank you Martie for sharing this tribute. Happy Birthday,Madiba

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

*** WillStarr – Thanks for taking the time to read this. Re ‘funny’ - Nelson Mandela has a great sense of humor and I bet he sees some matters in our history worthy to laugh about. People are sometimes quite funny in their serious endeavors. I’m thinking specifically now of our second last State President, PW Botha, who used to point his finger at all present and absent while he uttered his thoughts, decisions, threats galore. Thát was funny.

*** prasetio30 – Nelson Mandela will appreciate your admiration and cheers. Thanks a lot.

*** Jewels – Thanks for your support. Those who don’t admire Nelson Mandela are blinded by their own selfish ideas of right and wrong. We don’t take their opinions to heart.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

SilentReed – Thank you so much for enhancing my hub with the names of Cory and Ninoy Aquino. You’ve hit the nail on the head: This is exactly what differentiates Nelson Mandela from (most) other leaders – Somehow, at some point of his life, he overcame his own human frailties of pride and prejudice. On his behalf, thank you for the birthday-cheer.

soneblom profile image

soneblom 5 years ago from South Africa

Halo Martie Well gedaan! Vote Up! This is a very informative hub, our country is better for having had Tata Mandela amongst so many others fighting without fear or thought for their own lives and look at us now! Thank God for those who stand up for what is right!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi soneblom, my fellow-South African :)))) Nelson Mandela and his comrades indeed walked a long walk to freedom. We know he was only one of many freedom fighters, and we will also remember the others, especially those who had died in the struggle. This is now all part of the history of our country. At present we have other struggles (against crime, poverty, incompetent employees and employers and pOtHoLeS), but together as one nation. I guess the only purpose of Appartheid was to prove it as an unsuccessful regime to present and future governments. Mooi loop, sonneblom!

soneblom profile image

soneblom 5 years ago from South Africa

Liefde groete Martie:-)))!! Yes, crime and poverty and all other things still needs our constant prayer hey but God is faithful we will get through it all by His grace ne. Leker week vir jou.... winter is amper op sy rug :-) net nog bietjie ne.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, Martie, this was an exceptional hub, I learned so much more than I ever knew. I totally understand what you mean about growing up without knowing what was going on, how could you? you only learn what you see and hear. I recently watched a drama about Mandela and Winnie, right from the start to when he came out of prison, it was an amazing programme, and whatever Winnie did wrong towards the end, I was with her all the way through the programme, she was also a very gutsy lady, cheers nell

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

*** soneblom – Blou Maandag is verby. Enjoy the rest of your week.

*** Nell Rose – I wish I could see that drama. Perhaps they’ve shown it here as well, but I seldom watch TV, though it is on all the time. I’m thrilled to know you enjoyed the drama. People are not perfect, so Winnie’s scandals do not nullify the major role she’d played in the struggle for freedom. To pick up the strings of a marriage after it has been frozen for 27 years, is simply impossible, so the divorce did not come as a surprise. Oh, where am I going to get that drama?

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


I loved seeing this event on the world news but even better reading your tribute to Nelson! This was fascinating to read from your perspective, very detailed and personal. In these days of few modern heroes (MLK, Mother Theresa), this was an inspirational reminder of another in our midst. Voted UP & UABI. Thanks, mar.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

marcoujor – It is sad to know that a man like Nelson Mandela - with such a lovely character, great mind and righteous heart - was locked away for almost thirty years. I really hope our current and future leaders will always regard him as a role model. Thanks for coming over for the read, mar :))) I always appreciate your comments.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, maybe its on amazon or something? trouble is the different dvd makes in England, like for example I can't buy American dvds different set up!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago dear friend and sweet beautiful lady, I will be posting this proudly to my FACEBOOK page with a direct link back here in order to get the word out that a) you are simply a fabulous world class writer for putting this most important hub altogether and b)this is just essential reading .....

lake erie time 2:44pm Wednesday where we are currently experiencing a heat wave and I go into the water at least 5 times a day - and now after looking at your lovely smile - 6 times a day!

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saddlerider1 5 years ago

Martie my sista so far away. You have given a tribute to a giant of a man, like many others who have suffered for their stance and beliefs, he is a credit to his race. I am sickened by inhumanity to man, no matter our color or race.

When will it end? when will man STOP killing,disfiguring,blinding their own kind? I pray that the God of man will show us a better way to live in peace and loving kindness to all our brothers and sisters who walk this planet.

Nelson Mandela was the saint sent to show the world that there is Hope, there is peace, there is kindness and to LOVE each other, not Kill and war against each other. I know it won't come in my life time, but it WILL COME I truly believe mother nature is showing us now and a greater power than ourselves will be making an appearance on the world stage soon....Happy Birthday Nelson, to your good health, I lift a glass and may your soul continue to reach out to others, you have to my sista Martie, she is an angel sent to us at the Hubs with her artistic gifts.

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Nell Rose – Can you remember the title of the drama?

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

epigramman – Thanks so much vir sharing this with your FB-friends. Nelson Mandela’s story is really worthwhile to know. His biography is an eye-opener.

Are you swimming in the lake, or in a pool? Perhaps you should save me for the winter, Epi. But beware, they say what doesn’t make you fat, kills you :))))

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

saddlerider1 – I am in full agreement with you and sick with disgust and sadness because too many people – and even the highly educated - are killers without any qualms of conscience. In our country human life is not worth much. Here are too many people (without jobs) who regard crime as a source of income. Too many ‘soft targets’, like senior citizens, farmers, single women get killed by brutal murderers, mostly young men between the age of 18 and 30. Some politicians still blame Apartheid for the high crime rate, even while it had been demolished 17 years ago. But let me not spoil this tribute to Mandela with negative facts. Fortunately I am an optimist, living in a cloud of hope that Good will always prevail. At least until Misfortune hit me for a six.

Thanks for the visit, Boeta :))) It is always so nice to see you in my corner. Tot weersiens :)

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, the drama was for bbc 4 and it was called Mrs Mandela, but it was about both of them, I hope this link works, if it doesn't you can look it up on youtube, okay?

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Thanks Nell, and for the link. Much appreciated!

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moncrieff 5 years ago from New York, NY

I didn't realize that Mandela is that old. I enjoyed your first hand account on living in South Africa under Apartheid. What a bizzare state it was... to an outsider, of course! Thanks!

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

moncrieff – Thanks for coming over for the read. Apartheid is practiced since the beginning of time all over the world. People naturally feel happier amongst their own people and not comfortable amongst people with different cultures, norms and standards. Like really attracts like. South Africa – the government of that time – sadly made Apartheid LAW; they’d tested the recipe for ‘forcing people with laws to be natural’. They’d forgotten that it is also natural for humans to rebel against authority and rigidity. We want to be free to become what we want to become. Corruption, discrimination, differentiation, etc., is the abuse of power committed in all regimes and the reason for rebellions and revolutions. Currently Democracy seems to be the ideal regime, while abuse of power is still the order of the day.

Native 5 years ago

Alas millions remain enchanted by his kiss from his poisoned lips.

All remain worshiping lies and thanking fake smiles.

They remain urinating on the ashes of the dead, and using the urn to serve tea to massa.

Alas they the loudest singers on Judas's birthday, is it the sting of Judas's sweet dagger that inspires them so??

When Judas spoke of the black domination he tore, the cloth of white domination he did restore.

When father bought son a noose, son thought it a tie as he wore it, then father gave the word for hangman to pull his rope. Son lives in silent hope, better are those who sliped on a bar of soap, son has to face death at the hand of his loving father.

Oh how loud we shall sing while from the noose we swing, on sweet Judas's birthday!

--------------------------------------------------------For Nelson Judas Mandela

By the Native Foxo!

Copyrighted. All right reserved.


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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Native Foxo – Although I don’t see Nelson at all as a Judas, and I can’t even manage to see him as such through your eyes, and my gut feeling tells me that you haven’t done any research before you’ve made up your mind about Nelson Mandela, I approved your comment because it is a piece of impressive poetry that could be applicable to other leaders I know of.

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zainab-s 5 years ago from Pakistan


funmontrealgirl profile image

funmontrealgirl 5 years ago from Montreal

Extremely well written and informative article. Thanks so much. I have only known a thing or two. Saw Invictus. But this was a great read.

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

@ zainab & funmontrealgirl - I do believe Nelson Mandela's biography is worthy to be known by all people in this world, and I also hope he will be regarded as a model for constructive revolt and eventually leadership without prejudice. Thanks for reading and commenting.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

A great man of unequal repute. He is a man of honor and valor. Be blessed

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

ubanichijioke - I agree wholeheartedly with you. May he be for many ages to come a role model for all leaders in Aftrica.

felicitylovespari profile image

felicitylovespari 5 years ago

A very happy (and late) birthday. Best wishes to Africa and Mandela.

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

felicitylovespari – I am sure Nelson Mandela will accept your late wishes with gratitude :)) profile image 5 years ago from upstate, NY

MartieCoetser- Very interesting perspective of the life of the different cultures in South Africa. It seems Mendella must have had noble character to resist taking revenge on white minorities once he came into power.

It's also telling how information and communication was tightly controled during your childhood, identifying this type of political correctness is important so as not to repeat the errors of the past.- Regards and blessings-WBA

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

WBA, thanks for commenting on this tribute of mine to Nelson Mandela. The absence of revengeful ideas and his positive views, insight and far-sight had opened the eyes of millions.

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inspiringquotes 4 years ago from The Friendly Universe :)

Happy birthday Madiba! What an inspiration to millions of people all over the world you are :)

bohemiotx profile image

bohemiotx 3 years ago from Tyler, TX

Read this great article again and tweeted it this time!!!

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MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, bohemiotx :)

Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

What an amazing man. He change an entire country!

Thank you for writing this. Sorry for being three months late.

Voted up.

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MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

True, Michelle, he managed to change the entire country, and he has made impressions that affected the entire world. Presently he is dying; I believe only a miracle is keeping him alive. Google his name for relevant news.

Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

I already know. He is very old and people are praying for him and thanking God for him. That is the right thing to do.

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MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Michelle, he had taught the world so many lessons, I am going to list them in a hub....

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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Oh Martie, this is a wonderful tribute to Nelson Mandela. This is so engaging to read and I enjoyed it so much. Your personal reflections of growing up never being aware of apartheid because it never touched your life is fascinating. Your parents did a great job of 'hiding' the truth from you as all the white parents did at that time. Apartheid was just so accepted. I grew up in the north and actually had African-American principals and teachers and so it was natural for me to see them in our lives, although our neighborhood was all white. I learned so much about Mandela and the times in South Africa when he was imprisoned. Great write, Martie!

bluebird profile image

bluebird 2 years ago

I appreciate this article very much, I had nothing but respect for the man, what an example of forgiveness and leadership with love. You did a very good job. Thanks!

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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Martie, I didn't read the book. However, I find it remarkable and very promising that someone such as Nelson Mandela can and has made a positive difference in the world. Your overview of his life is well-written and very informative. I hope your country finds peace in your lifetime.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

A wonderful tribute to a wonderful man!

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Wanted to come back on this special day remembering Nelson Mandela and the beautifully comprehensive overview you have written about him, dear Martie.

Sharing...and voting UP to the stars... as well as UABI...! Love, mar

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vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

A great hub about a great man written by a great writer. Enjoyed this tribute to Nelson Mandela. Been here before and wanted to pay tribute to him today.

Voted up and UABI and sharing. Love, Audrey

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

My dear friends, thank you for your supportive comments. The story of Nelson Mandela and the black people of South Africa is such a heart-wrenching tragedy with a happy ending, it will always makes me fall to pieces. While crying my heart out I will be ashamed of my ancestors who had committed such injustice in the name of God, and at the same time I will thank my lucky stars because I was not born with a black skin to suffer such injustice, and I will keep on hoping that injustice will soon goes down in history as an example of behaviour of primitive, narrow-minded, ignorant and arrogant human beings.

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brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi. Thank you so much for this tribute to Nelson Mandela. You included so much information that it was like a history lesson. Such vivid photos added so much to your tribute. I must read this again and thanks for sharing. Blessings. Audrey

ARUN KANTI profile image

ARUN KANTI 2 years ago from KOLKATA

A fitting tribute to a noble man and philanthropist better known to the world for his unflinching crusade against apartheid in South Africa bringing a happy ending to such a heart wrenching discrimination. Thank you . Have a great week end ahead.

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MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you for reading and commenting, brakel & Arun. Mandela was a well-needed role model for the entire world. But as you know, we can bring the horse to the water, but we can't make him drink.

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