Today I woke to Oscar telling me he had just watched President Zuma’s speech.
Mandela is dead.
My social media is a buzz with two very different scenes, tributes and blog posts being shared about the passing of a great man and “GET READY FOR THE RIOT, POSTING A WHOLE WIKI ARTICLE OF WHO HE KILLED AND WRONGED”
Both are very real, raw and true.
Mandela killed many, many people. Plotted a coup. There are several whites who were wronged by him and because of affirmative action, still are. He planted bombs. He marched. He spoke up. He did something.
He was a good leader. He tried to unite a nation who for generations were bred to believe pail is better than dark. He changed things. Things that needed changing.
The brand capitalization on his death is astounding. Brands and Media houses have had their ducks in a row for quite some time and over night as the news spread so did the billboards. I get it. Working in branding I am aware of the utter need to be current. But surely there is a line? Personally I recon a 24 hour waiting period before erecting billboards and statues is his honour shows a little more decorum as a nation.(Although I get why every was done so quickly. Even the JSE was down for 5minutes of trading)
Don’t lie to consumers and pretend like brands care. Brands don’t care. Brands use this as PR. People care. People behind brands care. Before slamming a business for immediately sharing condolences maybe take into consideration who is behind that PR team. How many colour men & woman are there running these huge corporations behind the scenes. Had it not been for a team of two men, De Klerk and Mandela, they would not have the opportunity to be there.
I am not old enough to go on about how this man personally touched my life. I never met him. Heck I’ve never even seen the man in flesh. I can’t tell stories of how I secretly had black friends. I have always had mixed friends and it has always been ok. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in a mixed school. (I was born in the 80’s) But I am saddened by the loss of a positive icon for our pretty country.
Madiba and South Africa are spoken in the same breath when asking a foreigner what they know about SA. Whether you agree with what man did or not, he brought POSITIVITY to a country that the world had boycotted. His name was spoken in a positive manor whenever mentioned. I don’t know about you, but I like hearing people speaking about South Africa in a positive light.
If you are one of the stoere boere who simply can’t let go, take this in to thought. You fight because you love your country and want it run right. You love where you live and everything this place has to offer. You wouldn’t be passionate if you didn’t have that love for this land. Well, he did exactly the same.
We lost our little ray of light.
I am not sad that a president died. I am not sad about the leader lost. He hasn’t been a leader in many moons. I am sad because we lost an icon. A positive icon.
What will we be known for next?
Stop worrying that there will be riots and “the whites need to leave ASAP” Calm yo tits. The world is watching us now. Let’s behave.