I got up from bed Instinctively geared towards what later became a soulful day of solidarity mixed with a joyous celebration of life as the morning of 6th December 2013 remains evergreen.
I called a car hire service also got a bonus luckily as he humbly guided me through the streets of Houghton estate. The night before, former President Zuma had announced the passing of Madiba on state TV.
We couldn’t get closer because Police restricted movement to pedestrians only as there weren’t enough parking space and for obvious security reasons most roads were cordoned off. I was fortunate to be part of that morning gathering as we walked past the numerous mourners and well-wishers who came to pay their last respect.
I imagined how great can a man be after his demise. The feeling was ecstatic and anyone present that morning felt that thing. The feeling you get when multiple souls in unison come together for a single purpose. Unlike a stadia where the gatherings are divided between two teams yet you still feel that thing. This was a confederation of nations, tribes, races, religion, and creed in Houghton to say adieu to one of the greatest men that walked this earth.
While international and local media were present with their Outside Broadcast vans, some had small gadgets that could feed a live radio broadcast somewhere in Europe. I was armed with my Samsung Galaxy S3 and captured images and videos that remain top of my classical collections.
NELSON MANDELA SQUARE
After spending about 2 hours in Houghton, I moved my coverage to Sandton’s Nelson Mandela Square and yet another ecstatically gripping atmosphere.
Wreaths of the most beautiful flowers available were placed all around the towering 20 feet 2.5 tons bronze statue of Nelson Mandela.
It was indeed one of the greatest moments experienced and on this Nelson Mandela International Day, despite the global challenge we all facing as a result of the virus pandemic, we should continue to remember this iconic figure and what he represents.
Long Live the spirit of Madiba, Long live.
Written by Abiodun Abidoye member of the Southern African Freelancers Association and the Editor/Publisher Africa Online News a Top 20 News Website to follow in South Africa.