Looking at how former South African President Nelson Mandela’s eulogized, glorified, epitomized, praised and you name it, one'd love to die and hate to love to live. Hearing such tonnes of praises, one'd think that these guys were serious and sincere. We boozers have one thing others don't have. We tell things other people hate to tell whether for the fear of being demonized or being felled. For a boozer like me who knew Mandela since my kindergarten years, the doyen received more than he did when he’s alive. Those who betrayed his philosophy of accountability, responsibility, reconciliation and forgiveness were in the forefront showering him with fake praises. Some referred to Madiba as one of his kind while they maltreated him by ignoring what he lived for.
Mandela's death forced me to revisit Nyerere's. When Nyerere died, those who’d betrayed him by selling his people he lived for were in the forefront vowing to “emulate” him ad infinitum. They'd good and kind words for him. Theoretically, they emulated him. Practically, it’s big zilch. Just like Nyerere, Mandela died a frustrated and a heart-broken man. How could he die happily while his works were abused? How could he die happily amidst tonnes and tonnes of scandals involving those sitting in the office he once bled for paying dearly and extraordinarily? One boozer left us in stitches when he asked if we saw how sinners were weeding the gardens of angels. We just laughed and seeped kanywaji in the honour of Madiba tough at heart it’s very painful to bear. There’s a saying that when the lion dies rats can pointlessly and comfortably eat his skin. If anything, this is exactly what seems to follow after the departure of the giant. It’s very painful for morally upright earthlings to see tonnes and tonnes of the world leaders congregating in Qunu to enjoy the prominence of Madiba. How much money’s burnt that’d have helped paupers in their hunks they made poor? How much time did they spend showing off while Mandela didn’t subscribe to such uppity and pomp?
Again, dead people tell no stories, they can’t defend themselves. Decent living people can tell their stories and speak on their behalf as it happened during the memorial ceremony of Mandela. The melee jeered at and booed Jacob Zuma whom they saw as one of Mandela’s blackmailers. One cartoonist left me in stitches when he drew a cartoon showing African rulers sank in Mandela’s giant shoes. I commented on the cartoon saying that however they can step in his shoes and being swallowed, like chickens will nary do them good. I ended up there though one person added saying: Like chickens they’ll poop in his giant shoes.
What I know for sure is that once funerals are over Mandela will be over just like Nyerere who’s only commemorated on 14the October the day he departed. Thereafter, all bete noix go back to their nether world in their criminal business as usual of screwing his people up. Hypocrisy fears no shame. If what’s in our hearts would be displayed, I’m sure. A few’d be allowed to approach Mandela's remains.
Again, if Judas Iscariot cried after being told that Jesus had been killed why not them?
Qunu, the place where Mandela’s born and buried, for the second time, became the focal point of the world. Once the sideshows are over it’ll cascade back to oblivion. Once the high and mighty fulfill their rotten ritual everything in Qunu’ll go back to bed and Mandela' family, even legacy will be crucified and forgotten. Differently from current president Zuma, who like Mobutu Seseseko, built posh residents in his village using public funds, Mandela didn’t commit such a sacrilege. Just like Nyerere, Mandela didn’t spend any public coin to build his village or to make his children, friends and relatives billionaires like others we see today. He didn’t even allow his children to run for positions in his party. What do you call this? We boozers call it by its name, hypocrisy and ungratefulness.
Mandela used to say that in his country people go to jail then become president. Ironically, this is totally different from some other African potentates who jail or kill their opponents to see to it that they remain in power. Whereas Madiba loved people and he stood ready to die for them. Some corrupt of mourners greatly love cows money and power and stand to die for such nonsense even by killing innocent people they call theirs. What made Mandela a unique person is only his ability to conquer egoism and so as to become selfless. This has failed many. You can see this on how some African potentates used his fame to become famous.
All in all, as President Barack Obama put it, “We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again."
Source: Business Times Dec., 20, 2014.