By Charndré Emma Kippie 

Embodying values of human dignity and peace, Nelson Mandela paved the way for South Africans and the global community. 

Almost 8 years since his passing, Nelson Mandela’s legacy and values continue to live on to this day, inspiring the lives of millions around the world. The key message he left behind was one of freedom, peace and justice – an all-inclusive lifetime endeavour that people of all races, cultures and creeds could support. 

As we celebrate Madiba this month, it is an opportune time to reflect and undergo introspection surrounding the values Madiba instilled in our country, and the rest of the world. 


Building peace and social solidarity


“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” – Nelson Mandela


Madiba was known as a peacemaker across Africa. The trial held at Rivonia in 1964 bears testament to his continual fight against tyranny, corruption and oppression. A true leader, Madiba displayed intense commitment to social justice, and never lacked courage, dignity or political astuteness. In this way, he remains an iconic role model for us and future generations in terms of maintaining peacebuilding initiatives and unifying communities. 

As citizens of South Africa, and the world, it is our duty to continue this legacy by upholding this value of peace and solidarity. We can do this by living consciously and remaining respectful of all human beings. Here, collaboration between leaders and citizens is an essential relationship that needs to be nurtured for stronger bonds to be formed and maintained. Only then will we be able to truly redress the many social injustices our people are faced with. 


Freedom for all 


“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela 


A freedom fighter unlike any other, and civil rights advocate, Nelson Mandela will always be known as a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who dedicated his life to eradicating racism and fostering reconciliation in our nation. Embracing his enemies, Mandela taught us about forgiveness and fighting the good fight – a fight for freedom and inclusivity for all. 

Aligning ourselves with such wisdom and the ability to understand that all human beings deserve to be free from injustice, will go a long way in continuing to heal South Africa and further Madiba’s footprint. This means respecting and safeguarding one’s freedom and that of others too. Freedom and security of the person, of religion, belief, opinion and expression must be ensured for all. 


Raising Institutions of Democracy


“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy…It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.” – Nelson Mandela


The word democracy itself means ‘ruled by the people’. Madiba was our country’s very first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His contribution to fighting for democracy is unprecedented. His belief in the collective peoples’ right to choose and have a say regarding leadership and governance was highly impactful across the globe – not just in South Africa. 

As we forge a better future for our country, it is essential that we remain committed to upholding democratic values, whether this be in our own personal lives, at work or within our communities. People have a right to speak up for themselves and address concerns they may have. As we approach the municipal elections later this year, let us keep working towards free and fair elections for all citizens. 


Service & Sacrifice 


“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” – Nelson Mandela


Noted for his 67 years in Service of Humanity, Madiba emphasised service to one’s fellow man, stating that we as human beings should live to serve every day, in whatever we do. This is why the 67 minutes for Mandela campaign is so symbolic, a it represents the number of years Mandela fought for human rights and the end of apartheid. The idea is that by doing something in service of others for just 67 minutes of your day, you could make a difference for a lifetime. 

Service and sacrifice are strong values that have accelerated the growth of our country thus far, and have been essential to individuals who need assistance. The idea of ‘love thy neighbour’ plays a huge role in building our communities in need of better infrastructure and supplies. By helping one person in need today, you’d be contributing to bettering the country for tomorrow. 


Respecting Human Rights & Dignity 


“If people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela 


From being sent to prison for 27 years for conspiring to overthrow the state, following the Rivonia Trial, to enduring discrimination and prejudice throughout his political career, Nelson Mandela faced many hardships in his time. Even in the face of these challenges, he never stopped the fight for human rights and protecting the dignity of his people. For Mandela, respect and dignity of all was of top priority – values that will forever remain imperative. 

Leading the fight for human rights across the globe, Madiba spent much of his time reiterating that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. We as South Africans need to continue to build upon the foundation Madiba laid for us. This requires following the stipulations of Human Rights laws, but also adjusting policies and procedures to move with the times to ensure that no one’s rights are infringed upon, and that no citizen gets left behind. 

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