Wednesday, 29 August 2007

MANDELA'S STATUE UNVEILED IN LONDON


Attended by large crowds and graced by a gospel choir and some pomp and circumstance, a statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled today in London, at Parliament Square, alongside those of Jan Smuts, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Abraham Lincoln.

The ceremony was introduced by Lord Attenborough, trustee of the Mandela Statue Fund and perhaps best known as director of the highly acclaimed film Cry Freedom, based on the life of Steve Biko and the experiences of the late South African anti-apartheid activist Donald Woods, who had the original idea for the statue.

On the occasion, PM Gordon Brown referred to Mandela as “the most inspiring and greatest leader of our generation” who would be “forever remembered as the man who symbolised the end of Apartheid in South Africa”, adding “from this day forward, this statue will stand here, in sight of this ancient forum of democracy to commemorate and celebrate for the ages triumph in the greatest of causes. This statue is a beacon of hope."

In his speech, Mandela recalled how, during a visit to London with the late Oliver Tambo 45 years ago, "we half-joked that we hoped one day a statue of a black person would be erected here alongside that of General Smuts" and stated: "Though this statue is of one man, it should in actual fact symbolise all those who have resisted oppression, especially in my country. The history of the struggle in South Africa is rich with the story of heroes and heroines; some of them leaders, some of them followers: all of them deserve to be remembered."

Attended by large crowds and graced by a gospel choir and some pomp and circumstance, a statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled today in London, at Parliament Square, alongside those of Jan Smuts, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Abraham Lincoln.

The ceremony was introduced by Lord Attenborough, trustee of the Mandela Statue Fund and perhaps best known as director of the highly acclaimed film Cry Freedom, based on the life of Steve Biko and the experiences of the late South African anti-apartheid activist Donald Woods, who had the original idea for the statue.

On the occasion, PM Gordon Brown referred to Mandela as “the most inspiring and greatest leader of our generation” who would be “forever remembered as the man who symbolised the end of Apartheid in South Africa”, adding “from this day forward, this statue will stand here, in sight of this ancient forum of democracy to commemorate and celebrate for the ages triumph in the greatest of causes. This statue is a beacon of hope."

In his speech, Mandela recalled how, during a visit to London with the late Oliver Tambo 45 years ago, "we half-joked that we hoped one day a statue of a black person would be erected here alongside that of General Smuts" and stated: "Though this statue is of one man, it should in actual fact symbolise all those who have resisted oppression, especially in my country. The history of the struggle in South Africa is rich with the story of heroes and heroines; some of them leaders, some of them followers: all of them deserve to be remembered."

6 comments:

KIMDAMAGNA said...

Olá Kuluki!!

Por ter quase a certeza que Koluki é uma das sementes germinadas dos Jitongos, ofereço-lhe esta história de Mbondo e Mukua.
http://kimdamagna.blogspot.com/2007/08/mbondo-e-mukua.html
Kimangola

Denudado said...

Só posso aplaudir, evidentemente.

Mandela é uma estrela que nos aponta o caminho que devemos seguir.

Luis said...

MADIBA ROCKS!!

Koluki said...

Ola' Kim. Obrigada pela dedicatoria e boa sorte para o novo blog!

Denudado: Hello stranger! How's life after blogging?


Luis: Yes!
However, let's also take care not to trivialise what the man represents. One thing repeated several times yesterday was that the crowds attending the event were behaving as if they were at a concert by a rock star.
There are many concerns among Africans that the meaning of Madiba is being totally lost under this sort of frenzied adulation, in favour of... "some apartheid revivalists"!
One important statement made yesterday was this by Mayor Ken Livingstone: "Long after we are forgotten, you will be remembered for having taught the world one amazing truth - that you can achieve justice without vengeance."
This is something that some people, like the Anonymous who started the conversation on my post "What is Racism", for instance, should fully understand in connection with that "fear of black power" thing and its consequences, side effects and spinoffs! Unfortunately, however, many "Mandela worshipers" haven't even started to realise this deeper meaning of Madiba - all they seem to care about is that under his leadership whites in South Africa had nothing to fear... and many simply carried on with their old ways counting on total impunity...
Anyway, sorry if I sound too moralistic and a killjoy - but I think this is the sort of reflection that would spare us so many unpleasant discussions, facts and events around the 'R' word.
Cheers!!

Nick said...

What I found most interesting of it all was that for all that bitter row over Westminster’s Council refusal to let it stand at Trafalgar Square, the statue ended up at a much fitting location for the great man and even fulfilling his vision of a black person standing next to Smuts. What a great outcome, isn’t it? Cheers!

Koluki said...

You're absolutely right Nick.
Cheers!