In South Africa he is known as Madiba, to the rest of the world he is known as the greatest activist, peace-maker, and statesman. Yesterday, July 18th, 2009, Nelson Mandela turned 91.
I wanted to pay tribute to a man who had sacrificed 27 years of his life in prison so that other people could enjoy the taste of freedom. When Oprah interviewed him, she wrote “For 27 years the architects of South African apartheid jailed his body–but they couldn’t touch his soul.” He was sentenced for fighing segregation in South Africa, and later became President of South Africa. But I think he will be known most for emerging from prision not a bitter man, but one that defined peace and dignity.
In 1993, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
Happy Birthday to the man who took a stand for freedom, and didn’t let the indignities he suffered into his soul.