Posts tagged with South Africa

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

December 9, 2013

December 10, 2013:

December 11, 2013:

December 12, 2013

December 13, 2013

December 14, 2013

December 15, 2013

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)


Nelson Mandela - a Poet’s Tribute - Bayo Omolola

image Nelson Mandela online

image Nelson Mandela online by Lawrence Morgan

As Nelson Mandela Marches On

By Bayo Omolola Email:

The humming of mosquito,

Disturbs never

The wall;

Never cracks

It is iron-made rack.

The wind that blew

And threw

The lees through

The Sieve

Never would it break a concrete wall well-fortified.

Nelson -

Man Mandela

Like an iron,

Strong unbendable,

Too tough for racists

But subtle his the language of humanity pervaded the ground

And the drum of freedom

Jumped and echoed for all dignity

And in a nation of all sanity.

Down at the radiant feet of Africa,

Rose no nonsense but cordial man that offered care.

The iron resisted the uncaring benders.

The lion resisted color-based sadists

Even in the cage,

Where he lived with the rage

Against injustice.

The lions roared,

And the world knew.

Deep in thoughts and in deeds,

Strong in will

And in actions.

One man, too many for the perpetrators of racial segregation,

Unique in his actions at his tender age;

Unique in reactions at his point of exit.

Dead but alive.

He that resisted oppressions

And suppressed domination.

Unique Leader with words

And decent actions.

Considerate political path-maker

And office holder

That never hid public folder.


Never was he like others who cherished house rent

And conversion to personal use government property.

Boxer that boxed two enemies and won:

It's Nelson Mandela that fought racism and won.

He that fought death for long and won.

One man,

Too powerful for his enemies.

Friends of the world today

And tomorrow.

The man that never dies,

In transit you're:

That man will never die,

You're, Nelson Mandela:

Adieu, Madiba, as you take a giant's leap!

Adieu, Madiba, as you smile

And wave around the world!

Adieu, Madiba,

As you take new form with the same strong spirit

That radiates reconciliation



And happiness for all!


The strong, universal man from the beautiful feet of Africa!

The smiling father of Africa

And friend of truth!

The most accomplished politician of the new millennium.


Copyright 2013: Bayo Omolola, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

I am pleased to announce that this poem was just published in The Herald, in South Africa.

Except for some newspapers which may have published Maya Angelou's poem, I suspect that this paper and The Herald in South Africa are the only papers which have published poetry in celebration of Mandela's long life.

Thanks for this wonderful contribution, Bayo!

ezakwantu images

ezakwantu images by Lawrence Morgan