Forgiveness: Learning from the story of Mandela & Mugabe

Robert Mugabe & Nelson Mandela

⁃ Forgiveness is a fundamental virtue in life. When you forgive it gives you a platform to start anew. When you forgive you draw a line and tell yourself that from now on ain’t no going back and letting go of the past disturbing events. However it is inevitable that you will be reminded of the past. It is an adage that you can’t change the past but can change the future. For progressive people, dwelling on the past is a waste of time and time is a limited resource, between stimulus and response you will always choose to bury the hatchet.

⁃ The widely known epitome of forgiveness is Jesus Christ for he forgave all the sinners including those who crucified him. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

⁃ Since I was birthed in Southern Africa I would be remiss if I didn’t look at political examples of two man in particular namely Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe, both man were freedom fighters as well as first black Presidents for their countries- South Africa & Zimbabwe respectively. The man were seen as terrorist by the white settlers, and some whites around the world at large were programmed to fear them. Magret Thatcher the then Prime Minister of Great Britain disliked Mandela.

⁃ Before independence in 1980 Zimbabwe was called Rhodesia and on 18 April 1980 on his inauguration Mugabe declared that: “If you were my enemy now you can’t avoid the love that binds me to you and you to me”. I think this would have been a breath of fresh air to all the white people who listened to his words. It was a moment of great relief and jubilation. For a few though it was a moment of worry and dubitation. In my days I new Mugabe as a childless man but he was married to his first wife Sally until her untimely death in 1992. The word on the street was he had been castrated by Ian Douglas Smith while serving a 10 year prison sentence. His only child with Sally was said to have died in Ghana, he had succumbed to Cerebral malaria. Given what I thought he went through, he was a hail fellow with Christ like love for forgiving the man who had emasculated him. Four years later he got married again to his young secretary who miraculously gave birth in the eyes of many. Some speculated that he wasn’t emasculated but went under the knife while in prison- as a life saving measure a bit of his manhood was chopped off not castrated. He still had the bitterness within him which was revealed in 2000 by the seizure of white owned farms after the white farmers showed an increasing support for the opposition party. Also his bitterness was exasperated by the disagreement with the British government. In a reverse fortune one of the richest countries in Africa became one of the poorest before he was forcibly removed from power in 2017. Mugabe forgave and went back on his word. Mandela once said Zimbabwe was a star in Africa and then the sun came out, the sun being South Africa after becoming a democratic country in 1994.

⁃ In stark contrast Nelson Mandela forgave the people who had imprisoned him for 27 years. Before he came to power in 1993 he was awarded a joint Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, for his work with the then incumbent President of South Africa, Frederik Willem de Klerk, towards a peaceful termination of the apartheid regime. He embraced his enemies with unfeigned love. He even asked them to help him run the country which was inconceivable. He had nothing but courtesy and charm wether dealing with the former colonial masters or the black folk. He even allowed a whites only town called Orania in South Africa to continue to exists, were the spirit of apartheid is conserved. The town was established in 1991 when he was still in prison. In the process he won the hearts of many across the globe. He went on to serve one term as the President and handed over a well run robust economy. Some commentators say he did what was necessary at the time but a total freedom for the Black people wasn’t achieved. Mugabe argued that Mandela had become too much of a Saint at the expense of the black South Africans.

⁃ After both man passed away, due to Mandela’s long suffering and Christ like forgiveness he was labelled a giant of peace until his death in 2013. Yet Mugabe died as a nonentity in many’s eyes. So going forwards following Mandela’s path is a wiser decision. The path may have beclouded the majority left behind but that can be easily addressed by tarmacking it and make sure everyone has a clear vision going forwards. People across the World often forget that to build a sustainable future social equity is a key aspect. Going forwards there should be no discrimination based on gender, race and creed whatsoever. We can’t dwell in the past but it takes both parties to work collaboratively to build the future from an equal footing. Parents stop programming your children to embrace racism. I know it’s hard to erase racism like the mother language particularly in adults, you might learn a different language and speak it eloquently but you will never forget your first language. However choose not to use it.

What matters is how you finish the race not how you start it: rip Robert Gabriel Mugabe

Mugabe’s last days as the president of Zimbabwe before he was ousted by the military.

RIP to (the so called) God father of Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe. He was so smart as an academic that’s why he was regarded as the world’s most educated leader, boasting 7 degrees including two Masters. However before he assumed the office he was merely a teacher. His premiership started in earnest and he vowed to be a president for all. As a charismatic leader his speeches were coherent and moving. When I grow up I want to be like this guy, I thought after listening to one of his speeches as a kid. Back then the concept of sustainability was beyond my scope but I listened to his words promising environmental, economic as well as social changes to usher Zim into the new Millenium. Ushering free education as well as free health for all, driving the economy in the right direction as a bread basket of Africa and that. Other African nations used to envy Zim. Tourism was thriving. “I know Rhodesia or Zimbabwe man, I used to come there all the way from Angola to do my clothes shopping”, a guy I met in Portugal wants said. As an adult I began to understand that he wanted a better country for the future generations. As the South American chief Seattle said

“we borrow the earth from future generations”.

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Be obsessed and be idiotically confident

First off I digress, it’s been a while I know but I’m back and I promise to give you more words. For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, however mine word is not from the mountain top.

Back to my word: Work doggedly and be idiotically confident to rise to the loftiest heights.

Following my previous posts, someone contacted me and said there is nothing wrong with wanting more and argued that our Heavenly Father wants us to be prosperous. I 100% agree and that’s why it is important to create value in whatsoever you desire or choose to do for it is written in Luke chapter 12 that to whom much is given much is expected. Many acknowledge this by making donations or contributions towards various causes and that’s creating value. Your business could create value directly or indirectly. If your objective is to create value you will not view charity as a contribution or donation but as an investment.

⁃The greats and the succetssful people are arguably jewels in a crown, they do not only make the world go round but also make the world a liveable place.

⁃Be obsessed or be mediocre: unending desire to create something: be idiotically confident.

⁃without the capacity to work tirelessly or to be obsessed you can never be great. Obsession and steadfastness are key attributes here, better yet anyone in a functional state of mind can have them. You don’t need any qualifications whatsoever to acquire them. For example who thought a guy with no formal education could lead a successful nation. It has been said that Jacob Zuma of South Africa had no formal education but self taught. He did not only serve one term but two terms (forced resignation before the second one ended). Before he came to power he was already a successful man even one of the wealthiest figures in Africa. His flamboyance is expressed by his many well looked after concubines and swag. It’s fair to acknowledge that he had worked tirelessly to get to the pinnacle before the government corruption allegations. When he made a silly mistake particularly when delivering speeches he would use his charisma to destruct people in order to take they eyes off him.

⁃Along the road to the top they gon be haters and naysayers, use those as fuel to keep at it even to up your game. Does this sound familiar “I love you the way you are so don’t try to be something you not” or “slow down will you and don’t stress it’s not good for your health” or “don’t compare yourself to others” or “relax a bit, take some time off”

⁃many people will tell you that the obsession of success or greatness is not a good thing. However each and everyone has some greatness in them, own your greatness.

⁃Obsession will allow you to keep pressing forward to the next best thing. The best not only for yourself but also the wider community

⁃If you use the same innocents and energy you had as a child you will never go wrong. Without honesty and integrity you may end up falling from the pinnacle like Zuma.

pray to god like your life depends on him and work even harder like peoples lives depend on you