Afroscandic has been speaking with the African Ambassadors in Scandinavia, to pay tribute to South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, the anti-aparthied icon and a worthy son of Africa.
Joining us first on the telephone is H.E. Ambassador Rev. Edith Mutale, the Zambian Ambassador to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. She also delivered a speech at the memorial service of the late President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela held at the Immanuel Church, Stockholm, Sweden, on Thursday 12th December, 2013. Please enjoy the video below.
Speech by Ambassador Rev. Edith Mutale at the memorial service of the late President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela held in Stockholm on Thursday 12th December 2013.
Her Excellency Ambassador Mandisa, Fellow Ambassadors, Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen and the People of Africa in Sweden.
On behalf of the people of the SADC States Accredited to Sweden and Zambia in particular, I feel humbled to have been requested to Eulogise the late President Nelson Mandela, a man whose life the whole world is celebrating.
The emotion we feel as a people, that of sorrow and excitement at the demise of this Great son of Africa Nelson Mandela is so because while this is a loss, we also celebrate a journey well travelled. Mandela was an extraordinary man, a man who chose to forgive the oppressor based on a philosophical disposition that ( and I quote) “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” (End of quote) This is a man we are remembering to day, who rightly believed that the basis of humanity – ubuntu- is love and it is this love that conquered apartheid. If Mandela had paid hate with hate today South Africa and rest of Africa would have been polarised.
Your Excellence and all colleagues present, the People of Zambia are familiar with the name and aspirations of Nelson Mandela, the Pan- Africanist and world icon who dedicated his life to the Freedom Struggle and emancipation of South Africa. As we honour and celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela, let me mention that Zambia which hosted the Headquarters of the African National Congress in exile has had an indelible mark of the Graciousness of Nelson Mandela. After his release from Prison, Zambia was the First Country that he visited in February 1990. This memorable gesture has gone down in Zambia’s history and this gesture also inspired Zambians who sacrificed for the ideals which Mandela was prepared to die. Mandela did not only appeal to the people of Zambia alone but he inspired the entire Southern Africa, the entire continent of Africa and beyond.
Mandela was an example of what humility can achieve. Upon his release from Prison he declared that he stood there out of Prison not as prophet but as a humble servant of the people. He paid glorying tribute to the tireless and heroic sacrifices that made it possible for him to be out of prison. He further said he had therefore placed the remaining years of his life in the hand of the people of South Africa. It is this kind of humility that showed the unique leadership that Mandela had. It is this kind of humility that conquered apartheid.
In remembering how Mandela sacrificed for the creation of the rainbow nation that South Africa is now, it would be futile if the ideals that Nelson cherished went down with him to the grave. I therefore urge both the South Africans and the rest of Africa with the support of the International community, to continue to rebuild nations anchored on equitable distribution of the national resources.
South Africa needs to rebuild that which the apartheid system failed to do if we are to honor Mandela sufficiently. We should also remember that Mandela did not only fight white domination but he also fought black domination. Africans should not replace apartheid with other forms of oppression in the form of corruption, bad governance and civil strife all to satisfy their personal interest. This is oppressive and must not be entertained at all. We must continue to fight for the betterment of our fellow Africans through equitable distribution of resources in our respective countries and the world as a whole.
Mandela once said “On my last day, I want to know that those who remain behind will say, the man who lies here has done his duty for his country and his people”. Indeed he has done just that.
He ran a good race. He fought a good fight
Now he has gone to receive a crown of righteousness.
Go well Madiba,
Go well son of the African soil
May the lord keep your soul among the foremost riches in heaven