Goodbye Madiba

As the world already knows, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away on Dec 5 2013 and today he will be laid to rest in his homeland of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.  The past 10 days have been a period of national mourning, bringing together the people of South Africa and all over the world to not only mourn, but to celebrate the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela.  I have only lived here a bit over one month, and if it wasn’t for Mandela, I know I wouldn’t be here right now, writing this post in the beautiful country of South Africa.  Thank you Madiba.

Nelson Mandela Square in SandtonNelson Mandela Square in Sandton (taken right after we moved to South Africa)

Last Sunday we went to the Mandela home in Houghton to pay our respects to Madiba and were overwhelmed by the beautiful tributes, many written by children in honor of the great leader.

Tributes to Mandela, his house is to the rightTributes to Mandela, his house is to the right

Hamba Kahle, meaning Go Well in Mandela’s native Xhosa language

South Africa, the Rainbow Nation

While we were there, several groups of bikers who had gotten together were allowed to ride in to the otherwise closed to motor vehicule traffic area, revving their engines to pay their respects to Mandela followed by a group prayer, helmets held high in the air.

Biker tribute to MandelaBiker tribute to Mandela

As I mentioned above, this was not only a time for mourning, but a time to celebrate a great life, and we were extremely moved by the singing and dancing that spontaneously broke out amongst the crowd.  I am not a great videographer, but I tried to capture the emotion here.

Mandela has given South Africa a great gift, and while his work may be finished here on this earth, it is now for the rest of us all to carry on his teachings.  Rest in Peace Madiba.

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