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Posted by blackstarlions on December 10, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Memorial for Nelson Mandela
Starting around 5/5:30 GMT this morning the BBC began live coverage of the memorial service for the late South African president, Nelson Mandela. While the memorial didn’t actually begin until 10am, noon in S. Africa, we got to hear about the people arriving, interviews with different individuals, including the president’s daughter and great granddaughter and the singing and cheering of the crowd. The BBC has been covering this story since the passing of Nelson Mandela but this morning it felt as if we were actually at the FNB stadium with everyone else. The good thing is that since we listen to radio and don’t have television, we could continue our work at the same time. Highlights: Jacob Zuma was booed by the crowd! Barack Obama shook Raul Castro's hand on his way up to the podium - that being made into a political debate - nuts. No representation from Israel.
While Kwaku has never forgiven Mandela for ‘dumping’ Winnie, she has always been present in his life, was at the hospital in July when he was ill and had a special seat at the memorial. We had heard a report on National Public Radio when we lived in Hawaii, United States and in that interview, one man said it was his job to create (i.e. invent) any story that would put Winnie in a bad light and tarnish her name. She was, after all the unofficial president of the ANC while Nelson was in prison. The ANC was a terrorist organisation. It seemed that one of the conditions of becoming president for Mandela was that he leave Winnie.
To Harriet who grew up in the United States during the civil rights’ struggles of the 50s and 60s, it feels as if the last true icon of that era has now passed away. Many who were alongside of those greats have dropped the fight for a more comfortable lifestyle and less harassment. Harriet was fortunate to see the late Mandela, Winnie Mandela and entourage,  at the Oakland Coliseum in 1990 when he made his world famous tour after being released from Robben Island. THAT was an awesome experience.
The three Ghanaian youth who came in to work this morning didn’t even know who Nelson Mandela was. One knew that he had died but didn’t know anything about him. He stated that he might have been the president of the United States…..!! Thankfully they are not indicative of the entire youth of Ghana nor Africa. One of the most inspiring comments was made by the BBC’s Bola Mosuru (spelling???), a favourite on Focus on Africa. She said, paraphrasing, “To the younger generation, you should know that you in fact CAN fill the shoes of Madiba. You have the ability to work for what he stood for and continue the fight for equal rights and a better life for all.”
Nelson Mandela, for the positive that you have inspired in many a generation, we thank you.

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