In Tanzania, every news outlet has one thing or two to say about the life, and especially health of Tata Nelson Mandela. Sadly though, much of the focus has been on any update regarding his health, and since updates have been missing, much have been speculations.
Meanwhile, South Africans continue to express hope for Nelson Mandela’s recovery. The elder statesman has spent more than a month in the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, where he is being treated for a recurring lung infection. Madiba remains in a critical but stable condition.
Around the globe, Mandela’s family friend, former US President Bill Clinton, has sent Madiba a special message ahead of his 95th birthday on July the 18th. Clinton, who was joined by the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and businessman Richard Branson, sent the message through a video link.
They all hailed the global icon for his life-long dedication to improving the lives of others.
I have sometimes been tempted to believe that South Africans, and indeed the world, have gone too far to idolize Mandela. It has become a taboo to be critical of Mandela’s leadership.
Yet Mandela deserves every accolade. It is not his fault that we are often tempted to portray him as totally self-made, faultless, super-human and a president who never made a mistake. Nor can we artificially try to reduce his stature – as I have heard and seen some try – without reducing our own selves in the process. He has played his part. Now it is our turn to do the same.
Get well soon Madiba, you never lost hope on humanity during the years you spent in jail, and we will not loose hope on your recovery.