“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela
Friends of Africa joins the entire world grieving the passing of a giant among men. Although his mortal body is gone, the legacy of Nelson Mandela remains immortal. For that we can be grateful. The world has lost a giant, but what remains is the legacy of a great man whose lifetime of sacrifice has raised the bar on human rights and social justice. Not just for Africa.
Evidenced by the unprecedented turnout of global dignitaries at a State funeral in recent history, Nelson Mandela’s impact on foreign governmental policies and relations had ripple effects around the world. His life achievements stand as proof that education coupled with tolerance is far more effective to curb violence and oppression than political grandstanding met by marshal law.
Nelson Mandela understood the importance of ordinary people giving service for greater good. He said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Affectionately known as Madiba, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a teacher — of dignity, social justice, co-existence. Despite extreme punishment thrust upon him by political circumstance, he emerged a champion of non-violence and he inspired those oppressed by Apartheid to stand united in knowledge to achieve equality in South Africa. His teachings inspired not just South Africans, but leaders and teachers throughout the world. He made profound impact in global political outcomes between nations and gave counsel to some of the world’s greatest leaders.
Perhaps his most valuable legacy exists in his words: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Indeed, making change for greater good begins in that lesson.
While we are celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, Friends of Africa International also grieves his passing. We send our deepest condolences to the Mandela family and to South African people for their, and our, most monumental loss.