Amanda's Tribute
My earliest memory of Nelson Mandela was as a 10 year old dancing in the streets of the small coloured community in Bloemfontein where I am from. The day was 10 February 1990, that glorious day former president FW de Klerk announced Nelson Mandela a free man. I remember holding onto my teacher Mrs Danielle’s hand as we formed a human chain singing and dancing through the streets of my neighbourhood. Four year later I got a glimpse of the icon Madiba. As part of the ANC’s election campaign Madiba visited our community. I remember the envy when Madiba picked up a cousin - envy as I wished I could be the one touching this great man or just be close as I pushed at the back of the large crowd trying to get a glimpse of the grey-haired man in the front. It was only more than ten years later that I would get closer, this time as a young reporter covering a story at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton. One of the Monaco princesses, I think Caroline, stepped by the Foundation and lucky me - I was the person sent to the photo-opportunity. I was shocked at how frail Madiba looked close-up, but then I was just as awestruck as that day in 1994 when Madiba picked up my cousin in front of the local supermarket. On Sunday night a friend from Bloemfontein called and asks if I saw Madiba waving at the crowd before the World Cup final at Soccer City. Of course I saw Madiba I told her, I was one of the volunteers standing inside the stadium and I can tell you this seeing Nelson Mandela still leaves me awestruck.
Added 1 decade ago