NELSON MANDELA peacefully transition to the other side. R.I.P. MADIBA. During the summer, his severe illness kept many of us on edge, touch and go; he lingered a little longer until December 5. He was 95. We knew he would leave us soon, not knowing the exact time or day, The Nobel Peace Prize winner died at his home in Johannesburg. REST, SWEET WARRIOR....YOU FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!

Mandela was a great man of courage, vision, hope, forgiveness, love for human kind - a graceful man. Madiba, as his family lovingly calls him, spent 27 years behind prison bars in 1962, for his opposition to apartheid, the oppressive, violent system of segregation created by South Africa’s white minority government. He became an international symbol of the struggle for black liberation and universal human rights!

Mandela’s life story is extraordinary! Imprisoned in 1962, released on February 11, 1990, destiny awaited. April 1994 apartheid ends in South Africa, as free elections are held and the constitution is written. Nelson Mandela is elected, Inaugurated as the first black state president of South Africa on May 10, 1994.

There’s ’joy and singing in the streets. Memorial service held yesterday, Tuesday, in a Johannesburg Stadium, attended by President Barrack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Jimmy Carter, and many heads of states.

The extended farewell - a bittersweet mix of grief and celebration - ends the day of Mandela’s funeral, December 15, when he will be buried in his rural hometown of Qunu in Eastern Cape providence.

During his lifetime, Mandela inspired many with his numerous words of wisdom, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”. and “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace”.

Revered by many, President Obama, during his speech at the memorial, in praise of Mandela, expressed, “He makes me want to be a better man!”

Yes, his twinkling smile, hearty laughter, dance rhythm, and so much more, will be missed. MADIBA, you fought a good fight - we will NEVER forget you! REST IN PEACE!

HEY, IT’S NICE TO BE NICE AND TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE...LOOK FOR ME...I’LL BE THERE...
E-mail Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net