- Monday, February 4, 2019

We are gathered here at the foot of Table Mountain, a beacon on the tip of the African continent that is millennia older than humanity and a defining feature of this beautiful city of ours.

For those incarcerated on Robben Island [as political prisoners] such as …. my grandfather, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandi … Table Mountain stood out as a beacon of hope and a promise that they, too, will rise above the stormy seas of occupation, banishment and suffering. For many of those incarcerated on Robben Island, this enduring symbol was a solace in the darkest hours… as their hearts echoed the divine cry, “I lift up my eyes to the mountain. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Today, we gather here from all over the world to honor the life and legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandi, a colossal mountain among men. His life and legacy will, like this mountain, continue to inspire us and stand as a symbol of what is best in us. To stand firm for justice, to be relentless in the pursuit for peace and to be a true champion of human dignity and a voice for the voiceless… people in Western Sahara, in Palestine, in Syria, in Kashmir.

His historic struggle has inspired many to also dedicate their lives to serving the human family and to give hope to the hopeless, to care for the destitute and to build a heavenly highway to a world where we can all live together in peace as one family and as equals before God Almighty.

This gathering in tribute of Madiba is also a manifestation of the colossal contribution of two great visionaries of our time, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, whose work now extends over 155 countries and has touched the lives of many in the quest for peace, human development and prosperity. Their work demonstrates that we can and must work for the common good, transcending the barriers of race, culture, gender and class. The Universal Peace Federation brand has become synonymous with peace as they have parliamentarians for peace, traditional leaders for peace and prosperity and religious leaders for peace.

A good tree bears good fruits and just as our global icon and hero has become a symbol for millions around the world, so too has the work of UPF received wide acclaim. We salute you and are humbled as the Mandela Royal Family by your contribution and your generosity in upholding the life and legacy of the father of our nation and our global icon. This Africa Summit is the highlight of celebrating 100 years of the life and legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandi announced by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa.

We dedicate the next 100 years to the youth of our country, of Africa and of the world.

May the memories of Madiba …that we recollect honor and celebrate over the course of this Africa Summit continue to educate and inspire generations to come … Let us cultivate our youth for peace on this very day.

On Nov. 22, 1997, in his address to the Men’s March in Pretoria, my grandfather reminded us that I called our children and youth in particular “our greatest treasure, they are our future.”

Let them tell his story in every city and in every village. Let his name echo from their lips in every valley, that his name be heard from every mountaintop…. You, too, are the torchbearers of his legacy and the values he espoused… We, as the Mandela family, may regard him as a member of our family, but it was always clear for him that his political home was the African National Congress….

Today, you are here to make breaking ground in honoring the life and legacy of Madiba in this Africa Summit a reality…. God bless Africa. God bless the Africa Summit.

Chief Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, eldest grandson of South African icon Nelson Mandela, is a Member of the Pan Africa Parliament in South Africa and leader of the Mvezo Traditional Council. The phrase “Madiba” reflects affection and respect for the late South African icon.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide