We bid farewell to a man whose life truly changed the country of his birth and inspired individuals all over the world. He suffered for his pursuit of freedom.
But the magnanimity he showed after his imprisonment for twenty-seven years on Robben Island underwrote the collapse of apartheid and laid the foundation of a new nation.
His humanity drove him to campaign for Aids awareness, unlike most of his peers in Africa. His legacy to the gay community at home was huge. The constitution, drafted by then-president Mandela in 1997 contained a clause that made discrimination based on sexual identity illegal. Subsequent rulings by South Africa's Constitutional Court, including one allowing gay couples to adopt children, have extended his legacy. Unsurprisngly, South Africa was the fifth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to legalize same-sex marriage.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 1918 – 2013
Lustralboy wonders: is there anyone else on earth today who can so inspire us who remain? Will we ever see his like again? Sadly, we come up with two "no" answers.
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