“Not every country has a Nelson Mandela!” exclaimed one of the closest supporters of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in a BBC interview dedicated to the 20th anniversary from the release of Mr. Mandela from prison. Today prominent South Africans gathered at a prison outside Cape Town to fete the anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release
A highly emotional and historic event, the Mandela anniversary makes us remember one of the darkest and most shameful moments in human history – the white minority domination over the black people in South Africa. People like Mandela have dedicated their lives to the struggle for equality and freedom for the black communities. In a famous speech he states: “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black 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”. Several decades after this historic speech, Mandela’s words are still a prescription for democracy, equality, human rights preservation and global cooperation. Also, his words summarize what the political objectives of governments all over the world should be, and imply that despite the disintegration and fragmentation of our society, despite the political cynicism that we all suffer, there are still universal values that we all share.
© Gergana Dimitrova , February 2010