15 December 2013

Qunu

December 15th 2013 Eastern Cape, South Africa - Qunu resident Nom Thetheli said:
"Tata Madiba in his early days would leave his house and walk around Qunu 
and greet all the locals, but in his final days we couldn't even say goodbye."
And so this morning Madiba was laid to rest in the strange rolling landscape of the Eastern Cape with its distant vistas of faraway villages and of peaceful cattle grazing on a windblown sward. So many speeches. So many words.The great and the good jetted in from all over Africa, from all over the world, for specks of the magic dust that has fallen about his memory. And the people danced and the people sang. Earlier in the week, the odious Jacob Zuma was roundly booed and embarrassing Cameron lent into a "selfie" with President Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt - the prime minister of Denmark. 
Twenty one years in captivity
You're so blind that you cannot see
You're so deaf that you cannot hear him
You're so dumb that you cannot speak
Free Nelson Mandela
Military helicopters flew over the burial site with the new South African flag beneath them - their rotors whirring as they used to do so ominously in the dead of night over Soweto or District Six on the outskirts of Cape Town. And Madiba was laid to rest in his home soil where, when the be-medalled soldiers, the marquees and the TV crews have gone, Nom Thetheli will perhaps take the opportunity to pay his own private respects to his great neighbour - "Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty,...free at last!"

9 comments:

  1. The selfie episode this week was a touch insensitive me thinks. I couldn't quite believe they would be so stupid.

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    1. Like daft teenagers - filled with their own self-importance when their countries had sent them there as representatives - to pay homage at a great man's passing.

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  2. No one could have eulogized Mandiba with more grace and kindness than you just did, Mr. Pudding.

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  3. i amm so so glad my mormon church took the time to publically appogize to all the peolps of the world for cultural conditions in and around america that caused such rappant discrimination of the negro<><><>Most of the blame must rest on brigham young who although was qualified to expand the west and the mormon experience was definetly swayed by the times he was living in<><>i am personnally appallled even understanding why he did it<><><>but i do wonder why he did it<><>>< i love Mandiba and i love the little brown man< Ghandi><><and am also quite in love with medical care for ALL of us here like you have it there,,I AM SO OUT OF PLACE HERE WHERE I LIVE

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    1. Thank you sir. Previously, I had never connected Brigham Young, the Mormon church and its expansion westwards with the racial melting pot in the east. These days how many back people inhabit Salt Lake City? Any images I have seen of it suggest a God fearing white community. Are you God fearing or do you play blackjack with the Lord?

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  4. Beautifully and sensitively written.

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  5. I'm not quite sure why I made such a banal comment. You know fine well that it was beautifully and sensitively written. You didn't need me to tell you that. But that was my immediate reaction when I read it.

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    1. GB - There's nothing banal about beauty and sensitivity. Thank you for your compliment.

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