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World hero

By Darcel Choy Friday, December 6 2013

click on pic to zoom in
Greatness: Former South African president Nelson Mandela on his arrival at Piarco International Airport on April 29, 2004...
Greatness: Former South African president Nelson Mandela on his arrival at Piarco International Airport on April 29, 2004...

Many citizens yesterday remembered Nelson Mandela as a man who should never be forgotten because of what he accomplished as a freedom fighter and the first black president of South Africa.

Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) Khafra Kambon said it was a sad moment for the world because Mandela was such a powering figure of the 20th century.

“He remained a powerful figure right through until his death in the 21st century because of his personal struggle and sacrifice to all of us who care about freedom,” he said.

He said Mandela was able to cross all the barriers and be a hero and Trinidad and Tobago was very fortunate to have him visit in 2004. Kambon said Mandela will always be remembered for his achievements and what he stood for.He said the ESC will mee this weekend and will decide how to pay tribute to Mandela.

Calypsonian Brother Valentino (Anthony Emrold Phillip) described Mandela as a great man who was his hero and said he was deeply affected by his death.

Valentino said he was “so in tune” with Mandela’s history that it inspired him to compose the song, ‘Stay Up Zimbabwe’, which called for the end of white oppression in African nations including South Africa.

“It is so strange to see a man who could have sacrificed his life to a cause and a people and at the end of the day, he conquered the situation and became numero uno at the end of the day, it was almost like a fairy tale. There are a few men like that. I don’t think there will be another Nelson Mandela,” he said.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris said Mandela was an icon for the world as he was a person who stood up for what he believed in and was willing to sacrifice himself for the good of others. He said Mandela lived a Christian message in the highest way it could be lived. “Nelson Mandela was a great example and we hope that example will not be wasted,” he said.

Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) Sat Maharaj said Mandela set an example in the mould of Jesus Christ and Mahatma Ghandi.

“He gave the South African people new status and together the whole of South Africa saw how a country should be run. He served more than 20 years in jail and he never repaid those who put him in there with discrimination but he tried to bring the whole country together,” he said.

Many shared their fondest memories of when Mandela visited the country in 2004.

On Twitter, one woman said, “I remember going to see Nelson Mandela when he came to Trinidad at age six, being inspired, reading the books, real life superhero; thank you.”

Soca star Machel Montano shared, “It’s been a long walk Madiba and now u are free! Long live Nelson Mandela.”

Athlete Richard Thompson said the world could not thank Mandela enough for his contribution. “May your legacy live on. RIP Nelson Mandela,” he said.

Keston Perry said he joined the world in celebrating Mandela’ life of candour, love and devotion to humanity.

On Facebook, the tributes were the same.

Anderson Mc Bain said, “He stood up at the cost of his freedom for twenty-seven years. However, God has the final say and he was liberated and became the first Black President of South Africa. I had the good fortune of seeing him when he came to Trinidad and Tobago in 2004 and being a reader I bought his autobiography and I will always cherish that book. May Mr Madiba rest in peace.”

Christophe Brathwaite said one of the most profound experiences in his life was shaking Mandela’s hand. “I could not believe I had just shaken the hands that had freed an entire country from racism in its ugliest form,” he said.

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