I have been tuned in to SKY News for the past 2 hours and listening to the comments people are making. The atmosphere is tremendously jovial - not anything like a normal memorial service for a person where you would arrive and look quite miserable. I hope this great occasion leaves some good for the future and not forgotten about by next week.
They say Prince Charles is only coming to the actual funeral. I think this royal step certainly sets him apart from the rest. All other leaders and dignitaries have been advised not to attend and I can see why. Mandela's home is in the middle of nowhere. Roads and infrastructure are minimal to say the least. I guess the helicopters will be buzzing about - something like The Tour de France......
Bixa - I really don't know the answer to your question because she is so seldom in the news. Many years ago she was involved in a murder but that eventually fizzled out. To my mind she got a swollen head when Nelson Mandela became the country's hero. She must have done some awful things for him to eventually divorce her. Personally I think she was and still is far too militant, whereas Nelson Mandela was more farsighted and intelligent. I still don't like her and much prefer the quiet and unassuming demeanor of Graca Machel. But thats just me. I remember an episode of Father Ted where she was referred to as "Nelson Mandela's mad wife" Maybe she's calming down in her old age.....
Without going as far as Winnie, Mitterrand's wife was always causing political trouble as well. To his credit, he never tried to shut her up -- he would just say that they had different ideas about revolution whenever he was asked.
I just saw this on facebook and I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Very touching and beautiful.
A South African chain store has laid on one of the most touching tributes to Nelson Mandela we've seen in the past week – and it was in the form of a flash mob.
Woolworths teamed up with the Soweto Gospel Choir, who posed as shoppers and store workers at the Parkview store in Johannesburg.
The choir then began an "impromtu" rendition of Asimbonanga [We have not seen him], singing:
Asimbonanga [we have not seen him] Asimbonang' uMandela thina [we have not seen Mandela] Laph'ekhona [in the place where he is] Laph'ehleli khona [in the place where he is kept]
Asimbonanga Asimbonang 'umfowethu thina [we have not seen our brother] Laph'ekhona [in the place where he is] Laph'wafela khona [in the place where he died] Sithi: Hey, wena [We say: hey, you] Hey, wena nawe [Hey, you and you] Siyofika nini la' siyakhona [when will we arrive at our destination]
The song was written during Mandela's incarceration as a call for his freedom.
On tonight's news, much ado was made of Obama's and Cameron's interaction with the Danish Prime Minister. She was even obliged to reply to some rather severe questions about it, particularly the selfie. She claimed that she was just trying to act like a normal person.
The big story yesterday and this morning is the mention of the incredulous unknown man standing on the podium next to the hierarchy and translating the speeches with sign language which turned out not to be sign language at all!! When I saw the clip it looked like he was directing traffic not words.......
Nobody seems to know who he is and even what his name is. Talk about slack security!
Thank you so much Lizzyfaire for giving us that clip of the Soweto Gospel choir singing in Woolies! Wonderful wonderful! I'm sure they were the team in Paris earlier this year that Kerouac so kindly took the trouble to record on his camera.
A quick mention of the hearse and procession to the Union Buildings yesterday. My golly they didn't half fly him down the street.....I hope they go slower today and tomorrow.
To add a bit more to the funeral today which I'm sure must have been beamed across the globe so some might have caught a glimpse of the proceedings. I was awestruck by the magnificent surroundings for the service. How on earth could they have got it all looking so lovely in such a short time?? Well, they didn't. I think it was Bantu Holomisa who mentioned that planning begun 8 years ago with the family. Then it made perfect sense how it got to look befitting for a man of Nelson Mandela's stature.
The death of this grand old man has opened a lot of possibilities for the future of South Africa. Already today, voices are being heard for the resignation of Zuma. It would be wonderful if all future leaders could be constantly reminded that they must live up to Mandela's achievements, wisdom and putting the nation first.
I was awestruck by the magnificent surroundings for the service. How on earth could they have got it all looking so lovely in such a short time?? Well, they didn't. I think it was Bantu Holomisa who mentioned that planning begun 8 years ago with the family. Then it made perfect sense how it got to look befitting for a man of Nelson Mandela's stature.
I am always in great admiration of long term planners -- there are too few of them in this world.
So, my life has slowed down for December and I have given up on forums but curiosity made me come and see what is being said about Mandela.
Wow Tod, my experience has been completely the opposite. I have not met a person who I have engaged with who is not feeling sad, the loss of a great man, the loss of an era, the loss of hope. In fact our canteen was turned into a shrine for Mandela as people spontaneously went and put candles, photos, quotes, the flag etc. on the walls and on the tables. I have cried with complete strangers (black, white, coloured, Indian and others) in the queue at the shop.
I woke to the news in the early hours of Friday morning and wept, waited till a reasonable hour and woke my children and took them to Mandela's house in Houghton, where a crowd had already gathered, tears flowed, prayers sung, hymns sung, Mandela songs danced to ..... incredibly moving and touching moment in history.
The reason the Memorial service was jovial is that is the way that Africans grieve, they grieve with song and dance, they dance at the service, they sing at the graveside, nothing demure ever about an African memorial service.
I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the memorial service. I camped out the night before worrying that we would not get into the stadium if we didn't. Despite the POURING rain through the night and all through the day, I am very honoured to have gone.
Granted, I think they got the balance wrong, and focused largely on the international image rather than a memorial service for the people, for Mandela's people, who wanted to celebrate him and his life and not sit still in a stadium for 4 plus hours listening (well we could hardly hear some of the speakers they were so inaudible) to person after person speak.
For me, a personal loss and totally devastated at the loss of this amazing leader and man, who I had the privilege of meeting when working on one of his flagship reconstruction and development projects.
Certainly he has been kept alive on machines for a while, doesn't that often happen with family members who are unwell, we keep them on machines in the hope that they will get better? And then when the doctors finally say 'there is really nothing else we can do' the family make a decision? I am a bit outraged at the constant conspiracy theories. The least we can do is have respect for his widow and his family, who had some difficult decisions to make.
I think I am all cried out now, I have used my 10 days of mourning well, I have celebrated, I have cried, I have reflected on the values he taught me, rinse repeat. I have felt a deep solidarity with his widow and have felt so sad for her, having to endure her grief so publicly, I cannot imagine how hard that must be. How gracious of her to allow Winnie to share the front row with her, what a woman, Graca!
Viva Mandela Viva
"Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." [br]— Nelson Mandela
Palesa you were so fortunate to be up there in Gauteng which enabled you to take part in all we saw on TV. Your personal experience of meeting the great man would have been a moment you will never forget. I definitely felt sad and a tug at the heart strings when viewing the proceedings. The sentiments expressed around these parts is that Obama was the man of the moment. His fantastic speech, which came over so loud and clear, was sincere and meaningful.
Here in Pietermaritzburg there were little shrines in all shops and supermarkets with a lovely portrait of Mandela amongst flowers.
Although he was in the background in these past ten years, South Africa has had the comforting knowledge that he was still here......now we no longer have that comforting arm around our country. Where to next.......that is the question. Hope this enormous send off for Mandela has jogged the consciences of many in the government.
What do people think about Desmond Tutu these days? Of course just the fact the he is a "man of the cloth" would make a lot of people wary of him -- especially if they do not share his religion -- but it seems that he has said quite a few sensible things in the past.
Kerouac, Tutu is a sincere and understanding human being. Many things could have gone awry if it had not been for 'The Arch's' input into certain situations. Goodness knows, he has had his share of family upheavel but his latest crisitism of our President Zuma has got people thinking really seriously about South Africa's future. South Africans love Tutu for his compassion, wise words, but and also for his jovial attitude!
Kerouac, There is not enough space to write down all the dismal facts about the current President Zuma. He has been an absolute disaster for South Africa, and I blame the nature of Africanism for the tragedy. The world watched the antics of getting rid of Mugabe. They dim compared to our exhibitionist Zuma! South Africa has been raped more severely than any woman. She has been left bereft of her dignity and pride. The criminal that Zuma and his whole family are, have openly consorted with known suspects of criminal injustices to the country and not only condoned them but got well and truly into bed with foreigners reaping billions out of the country.
Our population of devoted brainwashed citizens have stood by year after year expecting a house, water, electricity, schools and medical care. Instead huge mansions here and in Dubai have come to Zumas Family. He has allowed the disgusting brothers and sons of Robert Mugabe to live here and flaunt their wealth in any manner of distasteful ways.
Zuma is an idiot of the first order and only dumb uneducated black people have kept him in power. Tribal dedication is alive and well. Thank goodness we have a strong opposition in many forms.