Father of a Nation,
an Icon for the World.

by Purcella Bella.

“It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

I remember the day they let him out of jail, February 2nd 1990 was like no other. The world as I knew it was coming to an end. I was extremely happy & fearful at the same time. My fellow ‘white’ classmates & I were welling up with emotion watching TV in history class — how ironic. I thought to myself this is better than the falling of the Berlin Wall which just happened a few months earlier (November 1989). At the age of 17, I was in awe with what was happening before my eyes. The air across the nation was electrifying. I wondered would we as a nation survive to see this man become President?

And to the world’s astonishment, South Africa rose up to the challenged & rallied behind a father figure we so desperately needed. The following 2 years were filled with threat, posturing, lots of pain & some bloodshed. But the country didn’t turn to civil war. Then in April 1989, we cast our votes for 4 days & nights. People of all colours standing for hours & days in line ups that wound it’s way around townships, villages, suburbs & cities. The country was celebrating a birth of a new nation during those crisp autumn days. People of different colours came together, talked, hugged, sang, cried & laughed. We were united & rallying for change.

As for me, this was the very first time I voted & I was proud to be part of the change. I voted for hope & so did the majority of the country. I voted for a man that could make change happen. I’m glad that I had the privilege to stand besides my fellow black & white country men & woman — hoping for a new day, a new era. I am proud to call myself African. Madiba, may you rest in peace & be a beacon of light for generations to come.

If you enjoyed reading this, please log in and click “Recommend” below.
This will help to share the story with others. If you want to get more articles from me, go to my profile on Medium & click follow. Or if you use WordPress, you can see this post at my WordPress blog. And to find out about me, go to my About me page.