Nelson Mandela Passes Away at 95

Submitted by twohooks on December 5th, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Inspiration to many, you will be missed!



December 5th, 2013 at 5:09 PM ^

I've spent a decent amount of time in South Africa. Imagine if we were around when George Washington walked the earth; that's the comparable magnitude of this man's importance to the country.

Rest in peace, Madiba. 


December 5th, 2013 at 5:19 PM ^

They knew this was coming for a while but still a landmark passing.  You would be hard pressed to name a world leader whose death, and life, would carry as much significance.


December 5th, 2013 at 5:26 PM ^

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right."

He was remarkably quotable, but this is one of my favorites. In the modern era, Mandela really was one of the handful of individuals in the modern era whose very life and work made us a better planet and a better people. I still remember his release from prison being broadcast live all over the world and only realizing later (I was 12 at the time) how significant an event this was for the world at large - a great cruelty was about to end, one that Mandela fought to end many years before. He is widely considered "the father of South Africa", and rightly so, for he took what seemed like two separate worlds and helped unite them.



December 5th, 2013 at 5:30 PM ^

Certainly left a remarkable legacy during his time here. One of the greatest people ever. The true father of South Africa. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and country.


December 5th, 2013 at 5:55 PM ^

sacrificed time spent with this family, his career, his life. He spent over a quarter of his life locked in jail. He took inequality and struggle and the fight and forged the greatness that was thrust upon him. Well done Nelson; you did your share, you earned your rest and your peace. May God bless you and yours...


December 5th, 2013 at 5:59 PM ^

""Of all the men I ever met, he seemed to possess more of the elements of greatness, combined with goodness, than any other.
--William Sherman in Memoirs of General William T. Sherman

I think this could be said of Mandela.


I do have to admit to holding some hard feelings about his comments about US foreign policy. While now I appreciate his statement I still think they were overly simplistic. But one need not agree with everything a man says to admire him. 

I place him just behind Lincoln, MLK, Gandhi,  and Churchill on my Mt. Rushmore of greatness.


December 5th, 2013 at 6:13 PM ^

but I'd suggest to anyone who enjoyed it to watch the ESPN 30-for-30 documentary "The 16th Man" (rugby is 15 a side, so this is equivalent to a "12th man" moniker for US football).  It covers the same subject matter but in many ways is even more fascinating because you're hearing from the actual players.  Embedded below.

Probably as great a historical example of how one man used sports to help unite a nation as there ever was, and maybe ever will be.  South Africa was very, very lucky to have him.


December 6th, 2013 at 9:01 AM ^

My brother-in-law is South African and when I spent some time there I was able to visit Robben Island... it was shocking. These are the kind of things we would hear about from the 1800s, not 20 years ago.

Mandela's life was certainly an inspiration. When it comes to the 2 movies that are being discussed, I think both were very well done. My major issue with Matt Damon as Pienaar is even though he bulked up, Damon was not the physically imposing freak that Pienaar was. According to the internet the best person who could have portrayed him physically is probably Brian Urlacher.


December 5th, 2013 at 6:43 PM ^

There are few people in history that have had such an astoundingly positive affect on the world as Nelson Mandela. Arguably the greatest man to live during my lifetime. Rest in peace, Madiba.


December 5th, 2013 at 8:37 PM ^

I took my kids to Robben Island three years ago. It is a very moving experience. The tours were given by former prisoners. They may not be able to keep that up much longer since it was closed as a prison in 1996. 

The stories of Mandela's life there and the impact he has had in his own country and around the world are awe inspiring.


December 5th, 2013 at 8:56 PM ^

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

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.

- William Ernest Henley



December 5th, 2013 at 9:08 PM ^

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

-- Teddy Roosevelt


Which is the actual note Mandela gave Pienaar (thanks, Wikipedia).  


December 6th, 2013 at 1:18 AM ^

What an incredible human being.

My favorite Mandela memory is when he came to Detroit in the early 90s (Tiger Stadium IIRC) and acknowledged his standing ovation with great enthusiasm, saying "Yes, Detroit! Motortown!"


December 6th, 2013 at 9:56 AM ^

One thing I remember reading about that Nelson said. He was on a plane once that he felt was in at least in a dangerous situation.  Everyone else on the plane was very freightened, but as the leader of his people, he felt it was necessary to project a clam and in control demeanor to set the tone.  He kept reading his news paper despite the turbulence, even though he said at the time he was very scared. 

Cool story from a cool cat.