As I was reading former South African President Nelson Mandela’s latest book, Conversations with Myself, I came across a very interesting message I would like to share. This, of course, is to share with those who have not read the book yet. And if you have read the book already, share it with others as that’s why Mandela agreed to its publication, something I am now doing.
The message, by the way, was meant for none another than his now former Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. By the way, I do not know why she [Winnie] still hangs on to the old man’s surname but that’s totally another blog entry.
On page 175 of the book, in a letter to Madikizela-Mandela dated 23 June 1969, Mandela wrote:
“For one thing those who have no soul, no sense of national pride and no ideals to win can suffer neither humiliation nor defeat; they can evolve no national heritage, are inspired by no sacred mission and can produce no martyrs or national heroes.
“A new world will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms fold, but by those who are in the arena, whose garments are torn by storms and whose bodies are maimed in the course of contest.
“Honour belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark and grim, who try over and over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation and even defeat.
“Since the dawn of history, mankind has honoured and respected brave and honest people, men and women like you darling – an ordinary girl who hails from a country village hardly shown in the most maps, wife of a kraal which is the humblest even by pleasant standards.
“My sense of devotion to you preclude me from saying more in public than I have already done in this note which must pass thought many hands. One day we will have the privacy which will enable us to share tender thoughts which we have kept buried in our hearts during the past eight years”.