I once watched a movie titled Mandela & De Clark. It was a movie about how Mandela was sent to jail for 27 years and how De Clark became the new South African president to make his freedom a reality. I observed in the movie that all the powerful White South Africans were worried about Mandela despite the fact that he was old and was in chains. I also realized that he was a prince and was determined from a young age to improve the conditions of his people. Most importantly, I noticed that the very powers that was meant to oppress him was actually serving and preserving him.
At a young age, just before he went to prison, he told the Judge that he was prepared to fight and die for the fight against injustice regardless of race. In prison, he refused to change his stance to the extent that one of the guards who was supposed to read all his letters before mailing them, began to teach him how to hide messages in letters that prison officers could not decode. When the Black South Africans started fighting for his release and demanding change, the White South Africans began to realize that the time to bow to Black rule was at hand, but they needed someone who would assist towards a peaceful transition. They wanted someone who will not use Black rule to massacre the White South Africans in retaliation for years of White oppression. This is how and where Mandela became relevant. The problem the White South African government now had was how to free Mandela without him knowing that they needed him.
For this to happen, President Botha had to be replaced by De Clark because Botha had promised a thousand times that he was the bright White star of South African oppression and that no Black was relevant. He could no longer maintain that stance because the walls were falling all around him, and since a transition to Black rule was becoming inevitable, a new kid on the block was needed to take a new course of action. Soon, they began to pamper Mandela. White South Africans will give him rides around the city, clothes to wear, tie his shoes, give him a house where he could be with his wife, host him in their homes, and meet with South African Presidents (Botha & Clark) while he was officially still a prisoner. In the process of the pampering, he was able to make demands that were met while he was still in prison. He made De Clark free some political prisoners, reopened Black organizations that were banned for years, and passed laws that allowed exiled Black leaders to return home. What amazed me the most, was that when De Clark wanted to release him a few days earlier; Mandela requested that he stays a few more days until he was ready to be released. In other words, he was now more powerful as a prisoner of 27 years that a renewed freed man. What he could accomplish while in chains was more than he might accomplish if he ran to quickly for freedom.
The purpose of sharing my opinion on Mandela with you is not for us to clap for him, but to ask ourselves how a man that was imprisoned to die and the man that was freed by the same oppressor who put him in prison, could change the destiny of his people and nation for the better. In other words, he was released to do the very thing they had imprisoned him for. So it was White South African power that wasted 27 years of their lives and not Mandela. God is truly awesome!!! What he would have done for free, De Clark now begged him to do for the sake of White South Africans 27 years later. De Clark begged Mandela to please help them preserve what they (whites) had left. Is this not a perfect case of praying for our enemies to live long so that they can see what we become? Why was Mandela, a Black African career prisoner, successful against not just White South Africa, but also the White world powers?
Mandela defined himself at an early age as a man that was going to serve his nation by fighting against the injustice of his people and nation regardless of race and ethnicity. He did not say he was going to serve God, Pastor, Imam, temple, political power, or Swiss Bank, because a man who fights for equality and fairness of a nation or people serves God. He even stood against the oppression of the White oppressor before and after his imprisonment. He was an African prince that was not corrupted by Europeanized or colonized form of power because of his long years of segregation in prison. He could not be bought, manipulated, deceived, or shaken by fears of death, promise of fame and wealth, or titles without responsibility. He was a man focused on the pledge towards his purpose of fairness and equality. When a man stands for something good; even his opponents will eventually come around to celebrate him. The time wasted, cost paid, or lack of immediate rewards is never an issue for a man who has understanding, who is prudent, and who is well rooted in his quest to serve humanity. This is where our politicians and the Nigerian/African masses fail. Despite the fact that the odds where against him, it was the freed powerful men who arrested him that needed him; he did not even want to be free. He realized that his punishment and imprisonment was actually his strength to acquire his destiny. He had enough wisdom do know when the wind of change was blowing in his favor and the right time to make his demands, but was patient for 27 years. God is slow but never late. When we serve others for the sake of our nation, the rewards is usually slow and initially small, if any at all. It is with persistence of goodness that eventually leads to mass rewards and jubilations.
Every Nigerian/African needs to define their life based on a purpose to live and serve their fellowman and nation. It should not be based on money, power, titles, degree, or linage. Based on Mandela, we should be the ones that elect our leaders and not external forces or whomever the retired military wants. The ability of the masses to genuinely choose their leaders to serve and represent them is a service to humanity and the people. It is not what the government gives the masses, but instead, it is what the masses make happen. The entire African continent is imprisoned for its resources, and not because we are Blacks. How does Europe get these resources cheaply and get them to European manufacturing centers to produce products that will be sold back to Africa expensively? This is the purpose of slavery, colonization, and why Africans must have bad leaders. It does not matter where you live; a Black person is perceived as cheap laborer and a consumer. As long as we are given incompetent leaders that make bad economic and political decision, we are destined not to produce but consumer others people’s products. Since we are not producing, the only way to survive becomes to sell our resources at cheap prices like it is programmed to be. Until Africans learn to serve their nation from all works of life no matter the cost and lack of immediate reward, we will never free ourselves from having planted bad leaders and we will remain the global economic labor force.