Today, tens of thousands of South Africans, alongside over 90 world leaders, will gather in Soweto for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.
Among leaders set to speak are US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Here at ELLE South Africa we wanted to share a few words from our office in Cape Town. Some thoughts, emotions and sentiments on the day we remember the father of our nation.
‘Our country is mourning; the sense of loss is tangible, even as I type this I feel tears welling up. Madiba will always be our beacon of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation and to write a reflective piece today is almost impossible in the greatness of the legacy he leaves behind’ – Jackie Burger, editor.
‘No words can really express what our nation, or the world at large, is feeling. The only thing left to do is honour Mandela’s memory and uphold his values every day by working towards the emancipation of our country’s downtrodden’ – Sheena Bagshawe, fashion assistant.
‘There has never been someone who has had such an international influence as Nelson Mandela has and I find it hard to imagine anyone will ever again. Madiba came out of prison after 27 years and, in the face of hatred and anger, he only showed love, peace and compassion – that is something that will stay with me forever.’ Nicole Newman, fashion assistant.
‘Nelson Mandela is a hero to millions of us around the world. Today is the day we celebrate a man of incomparable stature and unlimited forgiveness, today is the day South Africa salutes its father and remembers what this incredible man stood for. South Africa is the country it is today because of what Madiba did for us’ – Maybe Corpaci, editorial assistant.
‘Today, instead of mourning the loss of Madiba, South Africans, and the world, should celebrate the life of a great leader and an incredible human being. Madiba didn’t only change a nation, he changed the lives of people around the world. He showed us all how to live with compassion, to treat everyone as equals, and to never give up. The man is gone, but his legacy will live on. Thank you Tata for making South Africa what it is today. We promise to keep our heads pointed toward the sun, our feet moving forward.’ – Jessica Baxter, senior copy editor.
‘It was always my greatest wish to one day meet Mandela, and it saddens me deeply knowing that that wish will never come true. However, I feel happy in knowing I can celebrate his legacy with my fellow South Africans. Thank you Madiba’ – Ziyaad Bassier, junior designer.
‘Mandela once said “It always seems impossible until it is done” and these words, along with many others of his, will resound in my mind and guide me forever. For me, today is about taking Mandela’s legacy further and uniting our nation to resolve in keeping his wise words and ideals alive’ – Holly Meadows, online editor.
‘I am so thankful that my children have been born into a free country where they don’t notice black or white; where it’s not out of the ordinary for a man to be kissing another man; where your religion is your prerogative; where no-one’s personal life is more important than another. I pray that our nation comes together in the spirit of Madiba, to lead our country to it’s true potential; to live in the spirit of the great man, with love and peace.’ - Lynette Botha, assistant editor
‘Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity’ – Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013.
RIP Nelson Mandela.