Today Jul. 18 is Mandela Day, the annual international day in honour of the late Nelson Mandela, the first democratically-elected President of the Republic of South Africa.
With terrorism, migrant smuggling and trafficking in cultural property some of the world's most daunting challenges, "the magnitude of the problems we face is such that it is sometimes hard to imagine how any effort can be enough to confront them. But to quote Nelson Mandela, 'It always seems impossible until it is done'. We must keep working together, until it is done."
Has organised civil society, bound up in internal bureaucracy, in slow, tired processes and donor accountability, become simply another layer of a global system that perpetuates injustice and inequality?
As South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest at his childhood home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, Malawi’s President Joyce Banda told mourners that it was Mandela who taught her how to forgive those who tried to keep her from becoming southern Africa’s first female head of state.
Perhaps it’s a false contradiction. But today there are many who stress the pacifist message with which South Africa’s Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) emerged from prison in 1990, while few put an emphasis on his rebellion against apartheid, including armed rebellion, which landed him in prison.
As the world mourns the passing of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, his close friend and political stalwart Tokyo Sexwale says much needs to be done to honour his legacy.