I had participated in an essay competition organized by the African Youth Organization last month which was organized to serve as an avenue for people to express their views on the legacies of Nelson Mandela and how it affects us till this present day but somehow, I didn’t come out tops but at least I made an effort. I think sharing it with everyone will make an impact. (It’s an edited version of my original write-up though)
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“Dare to live until the very last…” were the lyrics of a not-so-popular classical music in which I found strength and insight. Once I asked myself what I truly live for, and until I found an answer to that question, I lived the life of a bat, blind to see where it was headed but only moved in resonance to the tune of others. Now I have reached a point in my life where I have begun the countdown to my “explosion”.
Once upon a time on the surface of the earth lived a man driven by passion, refueled by determination, armed with courage and a fighting spirit, with brake pads of patience and head lamps of commitment. One who radiated a powerful beam of peace with such a conscience as clear as ice that connected him to the world through the plugs of selflessness; his name, Mandela.
In my world, Mandela is a time-bomb whose explosion has begun, continued even after his death, and shall not be complete until the legacy for which he stood reaches the ends of the earth, plugs to the crust of the earth, that every generation yet unborn shall grow to reflect his works to triumph over the evil that men do.
It is quite interesting, funny, strange but true that we live in a world where virtually all events and happenings are a replay of the past, either a total replay or a partial replay, from which we only need to draw inspiration to unlock the Mandela in you. I want to be able to face the challenges of life, beat the dares, swim through the deepest of oceans, climb through the highest of mountains, cross the deadliest of forests, pass through the thickest of thorns, break the hardest of barriers and kill the fears to stand up for what I believe at every point in my life without fear of intimidation or of being thrown into the darkest of dungeons. For he once said, “difficulties break some men but make others; no axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end”.
I want to leave this world knowing that I played my part in its development, attain that shining moment and be able to bow when the ovation is loudest, for it takes a man of character to step down at the brightest moments amidst the temptation of remaining the brightest of stars for ages. I want to be a path for the younger ones to follow by living a life of truth, honesty, patriotism, chivalry, determination and the fear of God.
Living a life according to the legacy of a noble man such as Mandela in this modern time is like a leopard trying to change its spots; but who says we cannot live our individual lives to become greater individuals too? Of course we can. Let us examine the ethical dimension of our individual and societal lives and be who we truly are.
I see a future where we live in peace and prosperity, united by love for our continent and one another, governed by leaders of high intellect and integrity. The youth are the leaders of tomorrow, not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also the partners of today. Therefore, we should begin to develop a sense of responsibility and realize that the future of this world lies in our hands. Let us begin to imbibe the passion to stand up for what is right at all times. Then and only then shall we rest assured that the future of this world is in safe hands.
The question is, “have you discovered the Mandela in you”?