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Mandela: The Personification of Humility

Zainab Usman

I am one of many who hoped to meet Nelson Mandela in person someday. I am one of millions of Africans in awe of his statesmanship. I am one of billions around the world who knew he would leave us one day, but was shocked by his passing never the less. As the sincere and hypocritical tributes flood in amidst the undignified presidential selfies, and as he is finally interred, I would like to reflect on Mandela’s virtue which inspired me the most. His humility.

The late Madiba’s role in fighting the brutally racist apartheid in South Africa earned him his liberation-hero credentials. His incarceration in prison for 27 years earned him respect. His reconciliatory approach in forging national unity conferred on him the role of Madiba, the father of the rainbow nation, and the Nobel Peace Prize. His decision to quit the seat of power after just one term in…

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Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

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