Hatched the day before Madiba’s release: a born-free speaks

Nwabisa Pondoyi

12 December 2013

I was born the day before Madiba’s release from prison. Most of what I know about him I was told by my parents or I learnt at school. I never met him. Nevertheless, the way he shared his life made it feel as if I knew him personally.

This global icon from rural Eastern Cape touched and transformed the lives of South Africans and people across the world.

I was born at a time when my people were chanting songs of freedoms; celebrating his freedom, the freedom of the nation from oppression. I grew up when there was a lot less discrimination because of skin color and where there were many more possibilities for both girls and boys than during apartheid. Having a role model who was living proof that anything was possible, a tall, humble man with colourful shirts and a signature dance move from eQunu. has inspired my generation.

As I grew older I was exposed to more knowledge that made me question why all the other comrades were not getting much recognition, and then I realised that not even once did he try to take the glory away from them. He in fact stood for what he believed in and it was his character that melted the hearts of everyone.

Being a born-free means that I’ve not been discriminated against by the state because of my colour. I have not been terrorised, nor have I lived in fear. It means I have freedom of expression. Because of Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Robert Sobukhwe, Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki and all the other comrades the possibilities are endless.

Ah Dalibhunga,izizwe ngezizwe, iintlanga nge ntlanga, zonke zixhwala emswaneni ngokuphulukana kwe Gorha elifana nawe, uliqhawe la maqhawe.Sophitsho , Yemyem, Ngqolomsila … Ah Dalibhunga (Different races, nationalities, from all the corners of the world are mourning the loss of a Warrior)

For the struggle, sacrifices, freedom and the gift of peace, thank you Tata.