Nelson Mandela setzte sich sein Leben lang für die Rechte der Schwarzen in Südafrika ein und kämpfte gegen die Rassentrennung. Er gilt als Symbolfigur für Freiheit und Gerechtigkeit. Nachdem er drei Jahrzehnte im Gefängnis verbracht hatte, wurde er der erste schwarze Präsident von Südafrika. Er beendete die Apartheid und sorgte für Gleichberechtigung zwischen allen Menschen. 1993 wurde ihm der Friedensnobelpreis verliehen.
Er sagte: „Menschen, die Rache wollen, zerstören Staaten. Menschen, die Versöhnung suchen, bauen Nationen.“
Eine kleine Begegnung erzählt davon, wie groß er war:
After becoming President, I asked some of my bodyguard members to go for a walk in town. After the walk, we went for lunch at a restaurant. We sat in one of the most central ones, and each of us asked what we wanted. After a bit of waiting, the waiter who brought our menus appeared, at that moment I realized that at the table that was right in front of ours there was a single man waiting to be served.
When he was served, I told one of my soldiers: go ask that man to join us. The soldier went and transmitted my invitation. The man stood up, took the plate and sat next to me. While eating, his hands were constantly shaking and he didn’t lift his head from the food. When we finished, he waved at me without even looking at me, I shook his hand and walked away!
Soldier said to me: „Madiba, that man must be very sick as his hands wouldn’t stop shaking while he was eating.“
„Not at all! The reason for his tremor is another“ – I replied. They looked at me weird and said to them:
„That man was the guardian of the jail I was locked up in. Often, after the torture I was subjected to, I screamed and cried for water and he came to humiliate me, he laughed at me and instead of giving me water he urinated on my head.
He wasn’t sick, he was scared and shook maybe fearing that I, now that I’m president of South Africa, would send him to jail and do the same thing he did with me, torturing and humiliating him. But that’s not me, that behavior is not part of my character nor my ethics. Minds that seek revenge destroy states, while those that seek reconciliation build Nations ′′
(From Echeverría Martínez ′′ Chicali Wall)