Den anglikanske ärkebiskopen i Gambia, Dr. Solomon Tilewa Johnson, avled under förmiddagen då han spelade tennis och plötsligt föll ihop för att sedan dö. Man tror att dödsorsaken kan vara en hjärtattack. Vi på thegambia.nu sänder ut våra tankar till Biskop Tiewa Johnson’s fru och barn som han lämnat efter sig i och med det tragiska dödsfallet.
The world mourns the death, but celebrates the legacy of iconic liberator, Mandela When a human being gives out his goodness, forgo the luxuries of life, dispels the act of vengeance, tolerates even those who oppressed him, use the bitter past as an impetus to unify the human race and advocates for the justice and equality of all regardless of creed, colour, religion and affiliation, then the person is an extraordinary being who must be surely treasured and copied. This is typically true of anti-apartheid hero and champion of freedom and justice, Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president who had endured 27 solid years behind bars in his long walk to freedom. News of Mandela’s death at age 95 shocked the entire universe, for a man who was looked up to as one of humanity’s greatest assets of our time was snatched away by the cold hands of death. From the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Hemisphere, the news of Madiba’s death was received with grief and enormous sadness, causing millions of people to weep and grieve over his passing. His exceptional qualities and rare humanistic characters, his selfless sacrifice, service, and generous nature, are all what have come to define him as world’s most truly trusted and respected human being of our time. From China to the United States, Africa, to the Caribbean and Europe to the Pacific, Mandela’s death was announced in all major television channels and radio stations as well as printed in newspapers of all kinds, highlighting his flawless legacy. The incident that has and continues to dominate the social media since Thursday when news of the passing of a towering politician was broke in a somber televised address by the current South African president, Jacob Zuma, has been highlighting Mandela’s sterling legacy. A broad spectrum of people – celebrities, politicians, venerable religious scholars, past and current leaders, journalists, activists of all kinds, scholars, students, the elderly and even the kindergartens have all been taking to the social media not only to express their condolences, but to write beautiful commentaries showcasing the rare accomplishment and self actualisation that will be hard for any human being to attain all at any given time in his or her life. The United States President Barrack Obama described him as a man who “belongs to the ages.” "Today he's gone home and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages. Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better,” Obama said of the late icon. A very touching comment also came from His Eminence and a long time friend Desmond Tutu, who hailed his moral courage when he wrote; “He embodied what he proclaimed — he walked the talk. He invited his former jailer to attend his presidential inauguration as a VIP guest, and he invited the man who led the state’s case against him at the Rivonia Trial, calling for the imposition of the death penalty, to lunch at the presidency. Instead of calling for his pound of flesh, he proclaimed the message of forgiveness and reconciliation, inspiring others by his example to extraordinary acts of nobility of spirit. Who will forget the electrifying moment in the 1995 rugby World Cup final when he stepped out on the Ellis Park pitch with Captain Francois Pienaar’s No 6 on the Springbok jersey he was wearing? It was a gesture that did more for nation building and reconciliation than any number of preacher’s sermons or politician’s speeches.” But even whereas millions were weeping and continue to weep even as I pen down this piece, there has been celebrations in his native country about his life, premised on the fact that he truly lived and accomplished his goals – liberate South Africa, spread the message of peace and reconciliation, shape the human race, give hope to the hopeless, embodied freedom, justice and equality etc. Madiba was truly an icon who had lived his life for the people and unified a highly divided nation where white minority oppressed its black majority for years with absolute impunity. His tenacity, moral courage, honesty, patriotism and democratic nature made him stood tall among leaders and politicians both past and present. The void he left will be certainly difficult if not impossible to fill for he was a man who got it all. He lived as a universal hero who was unanimously acknowledged as the most respected man of all times. Madiba is a true reflection of a saint whose legacy will continue to shape human race for generations yet unborn. But as preparations take place in South Africa for a state funeral where a lot of world leaders including President Barrack Obama and other prominent personalities are expected to attend, the multi-million dollar questions that have even before the death of Mandela been lingering in my mind and perhaps in the minds of others are: What can the world learn from his exemplary legacy ? How many more leaders or politicians are ready to live and die for the ideals Madiba had championed? How many of us have the tenacity to stand firm like he did and speak against global inequality and injustice? I guess we may not really have in one person at any particular time that can actual get the answers to all these questions. The world has got to a point where there are gross inequalities in every facet of our endeavours, leaving the poor, the oppressed, the marginalised, the discriminated, the minority and the powerless to bear the greatest brunt; whilst others walk away every minute with glaring impunity. The world must definitely take cue from Madiba’s legacy, for this planet to be a better place for mankind. Madiba has been praised by the most powerful leaders of all kinds on the planet. But if truly they have been inspired by the legacy of this illustrious son of the universe, then one can begin to think that there will be even more hope after his passing. If these praising leaders or people in position of influence now act on the ideals he had lived and died for, then the long-fought-goal of global justice and equality will not be a far-fetched dream. If for anything, this somber period should embolden our resolve and strengthen us in terms of tenacity to do just as Mandela did in the long walk to eternal peace, freedom, justice and equality for all in this planet we call the earth. Whilst this essay serves as a tribute to a man who has inspired countless number of people of all race, it is also written to motivate all and sundry to take cue from him so that this world can be a better place to live. REST IN PEACE ROLIHLAHLA NELSON MANDELA