Tata Mandela: What I've Learned in The Past 3 Days

This was supposed to be up 3 days ago but due to the weight of the research and the wealth of information about the man, I was forced to fall back and marvel at his splendour.
So as I was hopping through all the pages in the net I challenged myself to find as much quotes as possible that relate to parts of his first public speech after release. The amount of information in cyberspace is so overwhelming to the point that I had to switch off everything at some point yesterday and just enjoy utter silence. Radio programs, newspapers and internet pop ups this was the order of my yesterday and the evening before. 
This is some of the content that  appealed a lot to me:
Tata’s Nelson Mandela First Speech in Cape Town, 11 February 1990.
Watch the Speech here.
I watched this full speech on YouTube and it really has exposed me to the power of this man’s words. I’m disappointed at the videographers for dropping frames or cutting parts of it as it looks like this was not shot by the same crew – this is a very important archive, anyway, enough about the spilled milk. 
I am in awe of him for his values; his brilliant use of language; and how he controlled the masses. He came across as a highly educated and thorough researcher who spoke with so much conviction. Now I understand why the young and well-read Biko had the respect he had for the man. Somewhere in his speech in a tribute to the youth he credits them (I had to ask myself if these would have been his views about today’s youth – since he was a straight talker) for their heroism attributing it to that of young lions.

To demonstrate his humility, gratitude and his determination to serve the people he made this said (this really proves your observation Mr Mthembu, spot on):

Did you know the spectacles Tata Mandela is wearing were borrowed from Mama Sisulu just before the speech? According to now National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, tata forgot his pair and so he had to find a way around the challenge right there and then. How much human can he get?

Only a daring and learned head can structure sharp sentences such as this one, keeping the subject in check by reminding them of what he now has committed to in front of all the people present:

Almost as if to try again since his first attempt didn’t see to get through, he repeats what he said earlier about in his native tongue - isiXhosa, this re-affirms one of his quotes:

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Some of Tata Mandela’s Firsts:

  1. He established the country’s first black law firm with Oliver Tambo, his comrade.
  2. He became The First Black President of South Africa in April 1994
  3. The ANC won the first all-race elections in April 1994
  4. He became the first commander of the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, Zulu for “Spear of the Nation,” studied guerrilla warfare in Algeria and helped set up training camps in Tanzania before being arrested on his return to South Africa.

Does the Twitter community really know who Tata Mandela is? Check this out.

My favourite Madiba portrait has to be this one here. It shows a much younger Tata wearing traditional beads and a bed spread, hiding out from the police. This shows the human and cultured side to him that we all have grown to respect. This is the same guy who grew to dine and shake hands with esteemed dignitaries of the world, yet he still related to citizens of the country like they were his equals. A behaviour that is truly exemplary.

He became increasingly outspoken even after leaving office. These are some of the things he said to then fellow statesmen:

Largely ignored by his successor, Thabo Mbeki, he became increasingly outspoken. Before the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Mandela called George W. Bush a president “who can’t think properly” and Vice President Dick Cheney a “dinosaur.”

"We watch with sadness the continuing tragedy in Darfur. Nearer to home we have seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe."

Some more here.

Zapiro did a caricature of Tata and the late Baby Jake Matlala (Rest In Peace to him too), it’s quite spot on.

Some of Tata Mandela’s Struggle Posters, in the New York Times can be found here. (Thanks for the Link Lu)

Some more reading on a side to him some us ignorant people never read or knew about here.

One project that I feel did a sterling job in covering him, former president FW de Klerk and the other notable 19 icons is 21icons.com.

The image below and the whole project was filmed by Adrian Steirn – My hat goes off to him and his team for a job well done! Meet George Bizos the man who played a pivotal role in the outcome of Tata Madiba’s Rivonia Trial by merely adding 3 words to it. Read and watch the short films here.  

And I believe you are just as capable of making a difference in your community; we have to start somewhere right? So let’s start by learning what our great leaders stood for, so we can take the baton and run for it.

More reading and quotable quotes here.