Yesterday morning whilst commenting on Facebook, I mentioned that one of the people who taught me about the power of humility was Nelson Mandela. Later on in the evening, I learnt that he had just passed away.
This was a truly great man and one whom I admired, my entire life. Throughout my teens and college days he was an ever present symbol of freedom. In my student days we sang and marched and protested for his freedom. I will never forget the day he left prison, how we sat glued to the TV waiting to see what he actually looked like, as no picture had been seen of him for 27 years!
I had the privilege of meeting him, as well as attending many meetings that he addressed, after he left prison, as well as when he was President of South Africa. One of the great honors for me, personally, was being appointed, when he was leaving office, to join an advisory committee, to propose ideas on how his legacy would be preserved and projected. It was a task I truly relished, as we debated and wrote reports that we knew he took great interest in. It was just like him to allow young people, including myself, who was non South African, to play such a role; I do not know of any other leader who did something like that. I also worked with his current wife, Ms GracaMachel, a truly extraordinary humanitarian.
My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his dear wife, the people of South Africa, and all peace loving people in the world. I thank God for using him, in such a powerful way, to show us the path of peace and reconciliation.
Visual Copyright Accredited to Matthew Will man / Nelson Mandela Foundation
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa