Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mandela's personal loss on the eve of the World Cup

Dear Colleagues

Nelson Mandela is now in his 90s ... and it was hoped he would attend the opening games of the Soccer World Cup in South Africa ... but it was not to be. The Kabissa story below explains.
Mandela's personal loss on the eve of the World Cup

The news of the death of a great grand daughter of the African hero, former President Nelson Mandela came as a rude shock. The timing and circumstance of the young ,13 year old girl, Zenaniwa, made the loss a deep one. It occured through a car crash while the girl was returning home from a concert to herald the World Soccer festival holding in that country, South Africa.

Image source: Nelson Mandela great-granddaughter killed in crash caused by drunk-driver

The circumstance - and particularly, the timing - of the death brings to the fore one seeming mystery that often characterise major turning-point or break in the affairs of human beings. This is often glossed over or not easily admitted to in public. But careful examination of major breaks in personal and collective lives reveal this as common. What is the mystery: the occurence of something for which people will say 'Oh why me' 'Or why now?' jsut when something phenomenal was about happening.

The picture of the young girl and her great grand father, Mandiba as he is affectionattely called, released by the family shows how intimate the two were while the girl was alive. It may be arguable, but the general feeling is that the world soccer ruling body, FIFA brought the Championship to South Africa mainly to honour the legend, Mandela and in part because the country has infrastructure that can sustain the fiesta. Many have looked forward to seeing Mandela in person in the course of the championship. And then the death of the girl .... which automatically prevented the old man - and his equally popular former wife, Winnie, from being present.

It can be recalled that in 1986, just when Nigerians (and lovers of Nigeria and Africa) were about celebrating the winning by any African of Nobel Prize for Literature (won then by Nigeria's Wole Soyinka), a renowned Nigerian journalist and Wole's young friend, Dele Giwa, was killed through a gruesome parcel bomb. It was the first of its kind. And, as someone quipped then, the incident put ashes in the celebrants' mouths.

Examples could be cited from various areas across the world, but this blog will be too long. Each of us can take a look at our surroundings to see evidences that can validate or disprove the issue raised above.

I suppose our challenge is that whenever something 'big' is about to take place, that is when we should be watchful and exercise the greatest care possible. In the days of yore our fathers used to perform some rites to prevent such whenever they were about embarking on an important mission. I leave the rest to you all. Except to say that rites can be in any form, prayer, and more importantly, care. These too are forms of rites. Isn't it?

Mandela's dynasty - take heart and accept our sympathy, please.

Jare Ajayi
I have commented on the Kabissa site as follows:
Mandela's personal loss on the eve of the World Cup
Submitted by Peter Burgess on 13 June, 2010

Dear Colleagues

Nelson Mandela has been an important icon for a long time now ... ending apartheid in South Africa was an epic achievement, and his visionary leadership that helped to steer the country away from violent retribution gave the country a new beginning was a miracle ... and is now enabling the hosting of the World Cup in South Africa.

The untimely death of a beloved great grand-daughter in a car accident is a sad reminder of ordinary humanity that is also an important part of Mandela's legacy.


Peter Burgess


  1. This is an important piece. I hope you will publish it nationally and internationally. Thank you so much. Peace and all good things for you in your work and in life.


  2. Diane ... what Mandela has done for the world is quite remarkable. The idea that Peace is Powerful is an idea long overdue! Peter