LJWorld.com weblogs New Ideas, New Possibilities

Nelson Mandela - a Funeral and a Celebration: Ubuntu


abcnews image

abcnews image by Lawrence Morgan

"Mandiba's song has ended, but its melody lingers on. We all have a responsibility to ensure that the melody of Madiba's song never stops."

NASA image

NASA image by Lawrence Morgan

There is a special word in South Africa - ubuntu - that describes connections and interrelationships that are not necessarily seen by the eye, but which underlie so many aspects of life. The view above pictures the Cape of Good Hope and the City of Cape Town as seen from space.

Please click below to see astronaut Chris Hadfield's view on Nelson Mandela and life, written on December 15, 2013:


The words of Chris Hadfield bear repeating:

Connection is something Nelson Mandela understood on many levels. Speaking at Mandela's memorial service on December 10, 2013, President Barak Obama stated: "Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit....ubuntu describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be indivisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.

The BBC put a number of pictures on the web as his casket moved to its final resting place.


Nelson Mandela's History

Now we need to go back to the history of Nelson Mandela. The following are overnight services of the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) during this special time. They depict many aspects of Mandela's life and history which are not well known, at least not in the Western Hemisphere.

December 8, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHHTCX...

December 9, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2RLpW...

December 10, 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBhbMV...

December 11, 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmypN8...

December 12, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfzjU6...

December 13, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aOSFs...

December 14, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzDJmA...

December 15, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yz4xI...

It's is a little like actually being in South Africa: there is much in these broadcasts to look at and ponder.

Nelson Mandela has a sense of ubuntu which is humble, yet at the same time overwhelming. There's a lot of meaning in this word that many Americans could use right now in their own lives, and this would enable them to look at others very differently than they do at present.

Family, friends, time spent with one another, and making new acquaintances throughout one's life- loving one another - is what really matters.


Who will be the next world's statesman?


NASA image

NASA image by Lawrence Morgan

About South Africa

This true-color image of South Africa was acquired on May 14, 2000, by NASA's Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS. The image was produced using a combination of the sensor's 250-m and 500-m resolution visible wavelength bands. As part of the opening ceremony to begin the joint U.S.-South Africa SAFARI Field Experiment, NASA presented print copies of this image as gifts to Dr. Ben Ngubane, Minister of Arts, Science & Technology, and Honorable Advocate Ngoaka Ramathlodi, Premier of the Northern Province, South Africa.

The area shown in this image encompasses seven capital cities and a number of the region's distinctive geological features can be seen clearly. Toward the northern (top) central part of the image, the browns and tans comprise the Kalahari Desert of southern Botswana. The Tropic of Capricorn runs right through the heart of the Kalahari and the Botswanan capital city of Gaborone sits on the Limpopo River, southeast of the Kalahari.

Along the western coastline of the continent is the country of Namibia, where the Namib Desert is framed against the sea by the Kaokoveld Mountains. The Namibian capital of Windhoek is obscured by clouds. Looking closely in the center of the image, the Orange River can be seen running from east to west, demarcating the boundary between Namibia and South Africa.

On the southwestern corner of the continent is the hook-like Cape of Good Hope peninsula and Cape Town, the parliamentary capital of South Africa. Running west to east away from Cape Town are the Great Karroo Mountains. The shadow in this image conveys a sense of the very steep grade of the cliffs along the southern coast of South Africa. Port Elizabeth sits on the southeasternmost point of South Africa, and a large phytoplankton bloom can be seen in the water about 100 miles east of there.

Moving northward along the east coast, the Drakensberg Mountains are visible. The two small nations of Lesotho and Swaziland are in this region, completely contained within South Africa's boundaries. In the upper righthand corner of the image is the Bay of Maputo, where sits Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Fires are visible in the northeast corner of the image, near Maputo. Just north of Maputo is where the Limpopo River empties into the Indian Ocean. Tracing the Limpopo inland back toward the west, this river defines the northern boundary of South Africa with both Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Johannesburg, the commercial capital of South Africa, can be seen as the greyish pixels in the northeastern region of the country. The country's legislative capital, Pretoria, is about 50 miles north of Johannesburg and 250 miles west of Maputo, in the heart of the Northern Province (formerly known as Transvaal). (Image and text courtesy of NASA)


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.