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Letters to Madiba

Letters to Madiba

As the results of South Africa’s fifth national democratic election begin to trickle in, we are once again reminded of the hardships and sacrifices that many endured to bring this country to democracy. One freedom fighter, though his courage, humility and compassion, has become a respected household name throughout the world – Nelson Mandela.

In celebrating our country’s 20th year of democracy, our Prep School children spent some time thinking about Mandela’s great contribution and what his memory means to them ….

“There is a great man in all of us but not as great as Nelson Mandela. A legend among us all, a legend never forgotten. A hero that brought our country out from the darkness. A life well lived, 95 years well lived. The heart of South Africa, a great leader, a great father. Thank you for all you have done; we will never forget you. Thank you for all your hard work to make our great land even greater. We are truly grateful, goodbye Madiba.”

Jake Upton – Grade 7

“Nelson Mandela was more than an extroadinary man, it’s hard to write in just 95 words how amazing he was. My family was lucky enough to meet him, this was of course before I was born but my older sister Sabrina was about one year old, so we have a photo of Nelson Mandela holding Sabrina. Nelson Mandela was just a normal person who had a huge dream, but he proved to the world that no matter who you are, where you come from or what you look like you can always accomplish your dreams.”

Gabriella Lubner – Grade 7

“Without Madiba, there would be no happiness, no rainbow nation, the flag would still be orange and all of us would still be racist. I always sit and wonder how life would be without Madiba. Maybe there would be a South African revolution against blacks and coloured against white. Of course Africa would be in danger. So you should respect Madiba for what he did because he is a hero! It’s a pity that he died, he did not deserve it. So I wrote this story so we can remember him. From terrorist to peace maker, after twenty seven years caged, Madiba changed the world.”

Florence Watson – Grade 7

“Nelson Mandela was a great man. He set South Africa on the right path. His life story influenced the rest of the world, but can you imagine if Mandela didn’t exist? If Nelson Mandela didn’t exist then Mr B wouldn’t be at Oakhill, some of our friends who are black wouldn’t be in Oakhill. Even some of our staff, the cleaners and gardeners wouldn’t be at Oakhill. The blacks would still be discriminated against, or maybe a civil war would start. Robben Island wouldn’t be a famous landmark. But it happened and we will miss Mandela.”

Christopher Bailey – Grade 6

“When Nelson Mandela died I thought the whole of South Africa had stopped and taken leave to drown their sorrows. It felt like the world had ended. When I heard that Mandela had died I was on cricket tour; we were shocked and sad. When I went to bed I lay thinking about how impossible it was, Mandela was immortal! The next morning when we got to the fields we had a moment of silence for Mandela and that day we didn’t play for South Western Districts, we played for Mandela.”

Ryan Shearer – Grade 6

“Nelson Mandela, a freedom fighter once said “It’s never impossible until it’s done” which is quite true. My father had always followed his word, now he’s a terrific cop. My father went to his funeral on the 15th December in Qhonu and came back and said “ I quit my job.” On that day we watched a movie which was involved and the next day he spent the whole day at the gym, taking the anger on the punching bag. When he came home he went to work the whole day.”

Lina Molo – Grade 6

“Nelson Mandela changed South Africa so that black, white and coloured could be together. If humans could be wonders of the world, he would be one. It is very sad that he died of the age of ninety five. Hiep Hiep Horaa! Suid Afrika.”

Ockert Kok – Grade 5

“Mandela was a great man, he was like a father to us. He fought for us, that man went to prison for 27 years just for us. He fought for black people. Mandela died at the age of 95 (he was old), his funeral was in Qghunu where he grew up; the funeral was big and sad. Mandela loved children – he used to go to schools and sing twinkle little star with them. Mandela loved wearing busy shirts and colourful ones too. He had a lovely wife and now his wife is grieving and sad. Amandla Ngawethu.”

Indiphili Witbooi – Grade 5

“Nelson Mandela was a great man. He taught us that black and white people are not different to each other and turned racism into peace. He went through a tough life, 27 years in prison, created the Rainbow nation and became president. I think he is the greatest South African who has lived. He is so great, they built a stadium for him. From the bottom of my heart, I will never forget the name Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.”

Julian Bunge – Grade 5

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