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Nelson Mandela
A Personal Tribute
This world lost a great man on December 5,
2013:
Nelson Mandela.
Having been active in t...
Left: “Freedom.” Campaigning for his release from prison in the eighties.
Right: Celebrating his release in Osaka, Japan i...
“Resentment is like drinking
poison and then hoping it will
kill your enemies.”
The words themselves are not uncommon.
The...
“It is never my custom
to use words lightly. If
twenty-seven years in
prison
have
done
anything to us, it was to
use the s...
Listen to the new national anthem in a
harmonious blend of five languages
(Xhosa, Zulu, Sesoto, Afrikaans and
English) as ...
Mandela loved singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with children–
even though he couldn‟t carry a tune. (But oh, how he ...
“Mandela‟s human and spiritual
qualities lit the path to genuine
liberation. He was steadfast in his
refusal to accept a l...
On Dec. 23, we honored him with a humble
memorial tribute at Osaka Johnan Christ Church.
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Nelson Mandela: A Personal Tribute

Faith, hope, love, dignity, respect, integrity. A miracle of a man. My personal tribute as one of his humble interpreters, with photos of his visit to Japan, quotes, and tributes.

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Nelson Mandela: A Personal Tribute

  1. 1. Nelson Mandela A Personal Tribute This world lost a great man on December 5, 2013: Nelson Mandela. Having been active in the anti-apartheid movement in the eighties, having served as his interpreter when he visited Japan in the nineties, and having continued since to be involved in grassroots activities to support the new South Africa, I am filled with a bittersweet sense of loss and gratitude, and have devoted my time this Christmas season to honoring his memory. Here is just a tiny sampler of treasures from my memory trove.
  2. 2. Left: “Freedom.” Campaigning for his release from prison in the eighties. Right: Celebrating his release in Osaka, Japan in February 1990. Center: Welcoming him to Osaka, Japan in October 1990.
  3. 3. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” The words themselves are not uncommon. The miracle is that they come from a man who was unjustly imprisoned for over 27 years, who yet emerged with a heart full of love, free of bitterness, free of hatred, with the spiritual power to lead his people to aspire for something greater than revenge: reconciliation.
  4. 4. “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.” –Closing Address, 13th International AIDS Conference, Durban, 2000.7.14
  5. 5. Listen to the new national anthem in a harmonious blend of five languages (Xhosa, Zulu, Sesoto, Afrikaans and English) as sung by the Soweto Gospel Choir in this YouTube music video. In this YouTube video, see a flash mob (the Soweto Gospel Choir in disguise as grocery store employees) move shoppers to tears singing “Asimbonanga” (We Have Not Seen Him). And marvel at how much their world has changed since the atrocious days of the Soweto Uprising of 1976, when hundreds of children were killed for asking to be educated in their majority native language and English instead of Afrikaans.
  6. 6. Mandela loved singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with children– even though he couldn‟t carry a tune. (But oh, how he could dance!)
  7. 7. “Mandela‟s human and spiritual qualities lit the path to genuine liberation. He was steadfast in his refusal to accept a lesser status for black people, steadfast in his refusal to hate white people, steadfast in his determination to bring about freedom and equality – liberating all of us, black and white. He was a man of rare magnanimity – of „great spirit‟, responding with forgiveness and reconciliation to provocation and suffering.” –Central and South African Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), December 6, 2013
  8. 8. On Dec. 23, we honored him with a humble memorial tribute at Osaka Johnan Christ Church.

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  • parisamehran

    Oct. 21, 2019

Faith, hope, love, dignity, respect, integrity. A miracle of a man. My personal tribute as one of his humble interpreters, with photos of his visit to Japan, quotes, and tributes.

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