“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” Nelson Mandela



18th July 2013
95th Birthday Celebrations

I, Yvonne Busisiwe Kgame, am grateful to be a devoted lifelong student of the Madiba Academy of Freedom.  I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for being afforded the honourable opportunity to draw infinite wisdom from Africa’s greatest Teacher, Thinker, Stalwart and a Beacon of Light, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and many other Ambassadors of Freedom who walked this path together had a dream that dispelled limiting stereotypes just like Martin Luther King had.  A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and prosperity; a dream of a land where we will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where we will not argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality.  Thus when we look at each other see Humanity, Soul and Divinity. Madiba, a man who lived simply and without frills – an ordinary life with ordinary people but did extraordinary things – actions that will forever transcend time.

Thank you Tata for teaching us that as Africans and in particular as South Africans, we should recognise this universal shared humanity. When there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the same. Emotions are universal. I rejoice when you rejoice and I hurt when you hurt. This phenomenon is an expression of our Ubuntu philosophy.  I am because you are you are because we are. Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu. A person is a person because of other people.

Right to the heart of Ubuntu is a wealth of a shared sense of values that we as South Africans naturally identify with as unity, cooperation, support, sharing, compassion, grace, forgiveness, self control, humility, collaboration, honesty and the list goes on.   The same values lived by Madiba.

We hear the voices which say that it is an appeal from all those, throughout the universe, who sought an end to the system of apartheid.  We understand their call, that we devote what remains of our lives to the use of our country’s unique and painful experience to demonstrate, in practice, that the normal condition for human existence is democracy, justice, peace, non-racism, non-sexism, prosperity for everybody, a healthy environment and equality and solidarity among the peoples.  Moved by that appeal and inspired by the eminence you have thrust upon us, we undertake that we too will do what we can to contribute to the renewal of our world so that none should, in future, be described as the “wretched of the earth”. Nelson Mandela

I pledge to infinitely live and share the legacy of Nelson Mandela
67 Lessons that I have learnt
The echo of Madiba’s teachings will live with me forever

  1. Forgive:  It will free you from pain.  A peaceful heart inspires vision
  2. Live with purpose and serve with passion wholeheartedly
  3. Educate the nation:  It is a powerful weapon for fighting injustice
  4. Act audaciously, admit the truth, accept and embrace what is and admire the  greatness of others and yourself
  5. Radiate faith, trust and belief in the Divine while looking for a cue that will you to make choices
  6. Envision your destination and embark on a lifelong marathon with grace
  7. Count your blessings and have gratitude for what you already have.  Thank you are magical words
  8. Savour the moment, sense the wonder in now, sing your song and serve fully
  9. Shape up for the marathon of life, strengthen your resources, stand up and be counted, satisfy your thirst for life, seal your divine contract and share your wisdom
  10. Stop and listen, smell the roses, soothe your inner self daily, sparkle and shine your light, steer yourself in the right direction, spray your genius generously
  11. Stretch your mind, body and soul, strip away the small stuff and switch to the truth
  12. Listen to your inner voice and be still – taking yourself to your inner power and inner knowledge to look, love, light, learn, live, leave a legacy, lead from inside, let go and let it be
  13. Give your body, mind and spirit balance and be fully aware of every moment
  14. Serve and love yourself and others whilst living your best life
  15. Focus on your calling and be true to yourself without fear
  16. Enjoy the moment, have fun and laugh.  Every moment is special and cannot be repeated
  17. Inspire and create your master plan, ignite your passion and innovate your solutions in order to hold onto your character
  18. Use your strength to change what you can and the wisdom to leave what you can’t
  19. Savour the moment and sense the wonder in now and never harbour hatred
  20. Sound your strength and shape up for the marathon of life
  21. Strengthen your resources and stand up and be counted
  22. Satisfy your thirst for life realising oneness with your Source
  23. Seal your divine contract and share your wisdom
  24. Steer yourself in the right direction and live your intuition
  25. Strip away the small stuff and open doors to explore untapped potential
  26. Live the following values:  self service, pure generosity, sincerity, simplicity, truth, humility, honesty and see the power within
  27. See positive aspects in times of trouble and feel the heartbeat of others
  28. Make decisions, listen intelligently and embrace unity in diversity
  29. Decide to be conscious it is the core of your life and influences all your choices.  These are congruent with your most compassionate beliefs
  30. Reconcile yourself to step out of the past and move into the future
  31. Trust the Divine to light the way in times of darkness
  32. Follow your calling with hope with patience, perseverance and pride
  33. Have gratitude as it unlocks the fullness of life
  34. Love your space as there is no place like home
  35. Master the art of surviving disappointment and let go
  36. Navigate a stormy journey with a moral compass with full trust
  37. Refuse to accept defeat and be courageous against all odds
  38. Savour the blessings in every moment no matter what
  39. Stretch beyond what is comfortable with unswerving courage
  40. Live, learn, love and leave a legacy:  plant your seeds everywhere
  41. Learn to say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no
  42. Make time to think, strive for justice and peace and lift the mask
  43. Master the art of change because everything changes so you better know how to do it
  44. Strive for unity in action:  great people are never aggressive
  45. Live a healthy life and look after your body
  46. Meditate as it is an internal process of renewal and liberation
  47. Be creative as this is the result of doing something different with all the skills, talents and experience at our disposal
  48. Learn to get what you want without a bloody fight
  49. Be patriotic and remember where you come from
  50. Be 100% committed and prepared in whatever you do
  51. Have integrity:  this is what you do and say when no one is looking
  52. See life as a fantastic growth school and be a lifelong learner
  53. Protect our children:  they are the future
  54. Dedicate yourself to deepening bonds with the people around you
  55. Live without fear and live in wholeness.  It increases the quality of your life
  56. Learn to become strong – nothing can take that away from you
  57. Protect the earth – it is the only home you have
  58. Don’t be afraid of your vision:  You have great power
  59. Live in total surrender and embrace life however it unfolds
  60. Accept what is and move on.  Respond to the call of your ideal.
  61. Be responsible and accountable for your own actions and live simply
  62. Express gratitude and remember that within that gratitude, the wholeness is already present
  63. Live everyday with fullness as if it were your last.  This will free your soul
  64. Listen to your inner voice and do you part in the world.  No matter how small
  65. Love unconditionally and without judgement
  66. Respect your God given talents and radiate your light
  67. Be patient as you embark on your journey – over time you will master this art

Tata, thank you for teaching us the art of navigating our long walk to freedom
The destination is never a place but rather seeing with new eyes
The truth is always shining

 95 Unforgettable Words of Wisdom

Letter to Winnie Mandela in Kroonstad from Nelson Mandela:  Conversations with myself

. .  the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the process of your own mind and feelings.  In judging our progress as individuals we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one’s social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education.  These are, of course, important in measuring one’s success in material matters and it is perfectly understandable if many people exert themselves mainly to achieve all these.  But internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being.

Long Live Nelson Mandela
Let’s encourage all teachers to teach the Madiba way.

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind – Bruce Lee

To Madiba with Love

Dear GOD
Thank you for the gift of life that you gave to the world 95 years ago
A vast treasure with boundless possibility, courage, trust and vision
A source of light, love, strength and wisdom
Grace and Gratitude
God, the source of our inspiration
Thank you for your ever flowing river of grace
From which we quench our thirst:  Thirst for healing, love, joy and wisdom
Thank you for the awakening
Thank you for the awareness of this moment
Thank you for the experience of freedom, warmth
Thank you for the silence, a practical and immediate outlet

Thank you for your loving invitation
To the mystery of your unconditional love
Your Greatness
Thank YOU Tata for your guidance
Thank YOU Tata for the light
Thank YOU Tata for the commitment

Words: Yvonne Busisiwe Kgame
Author / Teacher

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One Response

  1. Jacinto

    I love the poem Jamie! I don’t know if you wrote it, but it’s beautiful. Nelson Mandela is one of the pelope I’ve admired for a long time. His courage and determination for injustice is something I’ve always admired of him. He went through so much and never gave up hope and came out fighting even harder. Happy Birthday!BTW I looked up the ice kacang and you’re right it looks perfect for this summer days to keep cool. It looks very yummy I hope you have a wonderful day! You are AWESOME!


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