Free

December 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

Nai Hiwet, who included one of my tweets among her #2013Faves on Twitter, reminded me that it belonged to a special group of Love Letters which I had not posted here on my blog. That was because these Love Letters had a famous addressee: they were written for Nelson Mandela on the day of his death, 5th December 2013.

We all knew that Madiba would not see in the New Year with us, but nobody really wanted to let him go. I know it is a strange thing when a woman born in rural Greece says Tata when referring to Mandela and means it, but that is what Mandela became to many of us around the world, a father figure who showed us a new skin colour we could all identify with, the human colour.

Yes, he was a man, a human. Period. And there are two essays that I think honour his humanity the best way: one by his friend and countrywoman, fellow Nobel Laureate, Nadine Gordimer, Mandela, My Countryman where she also remembers the husband who loved and needed to be loved like a man by his wife; and the second is written by Teju Cole who in The Island meets the young angry man for a moment again and by doing this, by not forgetting this emotional Mandela, points out most credibly how exceptional this man’s decisions later were.

What I wrote on that day is not much, but I will post my tweets here, before this month ends, before this year ends; my gratitude, my goodbyes.

***

You were important to us all!

 ***

My dear, you taught us

we can’t kill an enemy

who’s among us all.

 ***

My dear, close we come

to your small prison’s window.

Are we still the same?

*** 

My dear, I was young

and I didn’t know my colour.

You then gave me one.

*** 

My dear, you’re now free;

we won’t hold you back with us,

we, afraid to fly.

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