Reflections on Mandela’s Legacy from Our Partners in Africa

mandelaLike millions of people around the globe, we are mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela, whose leadership as a peacemaker and human rights activist transformed our world.

Our partners in Africa have been writing to us to share their reflections on Mandela’s legacy. Here are a few:

  • “Democracy, freedom, human rights, respect and compassion are but a few embodiments of the legendary Nelson Mandela. South Africa has lost the father of democracy and the world’s greatest statesman. Affectionately known as ‘Madiba,’ he leaves behind a legacy of peace, human rights and democracy for all South Africans, especially our children. The greatest tribute that we can pay to Nelson Mandela is to continue to advocate and promote peace, dignity and human rights for all people in our society.” – Vijay Gounder, acting director of Children’s Rights Centre in South Africa
  • “If it is true that legends don’t die, then Nelson Mandela will live on in our lives. Mandela was a true hero who fought hate with love. I urge human rights activists to carry on his legacy and keep this great icon alive in each of us.” – Esther Adhiambo, programs coordinator of Persons Marginalised and Aggrieved (PEMA) Kenya
  • “We are losing a great man. Madiba [Nelson Mandela] is respected across Africa and the whole human race for his commitment to justice and defense of human dignity. He is a beloved figure. His quiet strength and his determination will continue to soften hearts in Africa and the world, just to keep us human.” – Seynabou Male Cissé, co-founder and coordinator of USOFORAL in Senegal
  • “Nelson Mandela is an unparalleled global role model. All the presidents of the world should copy Mandela.” – Vicar Bantudi Hangi, coordinator of Foyer de Développement pour l’Autopromotion des Pygmées et Indigènes Défavorisés (FDAPID) in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • “Mandela will serve as a model for various African leaders for good governance and for the struggle against segregation and the apartheid regime in South Africa. He advocated equal rights for all African peoples. Mandela was a reconciler, a man of common sense, full of patriotism and love for all African nations. We will miss him deeply.” – Nelly Godelieve Mbangu Madika, executive director of Aide et Action pour la Paix (AAP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • “Nelson Mandela was a man who, by his charisma and his philosophy, proved to the world that hatred is a weapon of the weak and that forgiveness frees both the victims and the executioners. The king is dead. Long live the king. Madiba, your time on earth was not useless.” – Babi Florent, coordinator of Forum des Organisations Nationales Humanitaires et de Développement (FONAHD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • “Mandela, your fight for the equality of people and peace in Africa will remain the fire of your legacy. The fight for liberty required the ultimate sacrifice, we will never betray you. Peace to your soul.” – Emmanuel Shamavu, coordinator of Action Pour la Promotion et la Defense des Droits des Personnes Defavorisees (APRODEPED) in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • “Nelson Mandela, you are a leader in human rights in Africa and a model for all women fighting in this climate of continuing conflict in the continent. Your fire ignites leaders wherever you are, and it should be an example for the return of peace in Africa.” – Claudine Tsongo, coordinator of Dynamique des Femmes Juristes (DFJ) in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • “May the memory of he who the Congolese people called “the Wise-Mandela,” forever be honored and his example of a man of peace continue to serve us.” – Magloire Paluku, director of Radio Kivu 1 in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • “Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the ideals of democracy, freedom and equality. His fight against oppression, carried out with determination, but in wisdom and respect for others, is a great legacy for humanity. His victory over the apartheid regime after more than a quarter century in prison, his election as head of South Africa and his commitment to peace in the world are a testament to a noble path that made Mandela a hero of our time.” – Alice Mudekereza Akonkwa, AJWS’s representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo

May his memory be a blessing.