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Photo Credit: discovery.com

PRESS RELEASE

December 7th, 2013

Tribute to Nelson Mandela

On December 05, 2013, we received the sad news that Nelson “Madiba” Mandela, a great son of Africa, has departed this life to join our ancestors. Even his well-lived age of 95 could not prepare us and other admirers enough for the shocking news.

The Igbo Studies Association (ISA), a professional organization of scholars, academics and intellectuals dedicated to the study of Igbo way of life and civilization, not only join the rest of the world in mourning the departure of this extraordinary man but also in celebrating his life and times, legacy and contributions to our world.

Mandela was an exemplary servant leader who put his life and family on the line for all the oppressed peoples of South Africa. He was a peacemaker who never lost sight of what is important for all concerned. He was an eternal optimist who lived out the conviction that, “If people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.” Despite his personal sufferings, Mandela raised the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation to a new level, an enduring legacy for our generation and indeed future generation.

He was the last survivor of a long list of African men and women of their generation who took up the challenge to fight for equality, justice, liberty, freedom and peace for all. Not even a long period of incarceration, which took a toll on his physical prowess, could break his resolve to continue to advocate for his people. He belonged to a generation that believed in Africans, their freedom, liberty and humanity.

We remember him as a symbol of patience and endurance in the face of injustice and oppression in spirit of the Igbo maxim: “when one takes a child’s possession and holds it beyond his reach, the child is bound to reclaim it once one tires of holding it up.”

May his mantle of leadership never fall to the ground, and May the Lord comfort his family, associates and the Republic of South Africa as well as all those who are on this uncommon path of selfless service to humanity.

Rest in peace, Madiba!

Signed,

Apollos O Nwauwa – President
Kanayo K. Odeluga - PRO
Austine Duru - Secretary