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    Posted December 5, 2013 by
    Washington, District of Columbia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Nelson Mandela: Your memories

    omekongo and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Remembering Nelson Mandela
    More from omekongo

    Mandela: finally free


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     omekongo told me, 'I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated because people of his generation did so much for freedom and this current generation of youth and even those a bit older just have no idea about their contributions to our freedoms. He gave 27 years and some youth (not all) now can't even out down their iPhone for 27 minutes for cause. How could a South African student say she cares more about her cell phone than Mandela when the work of him and so many others help bring those phones to South Africa? I'm just glad he finally found his place of rest. From the family drama to his health problems, it just seemed like he could never get a break in his later years. Now I hope be can finally rest but he'll probably still be watching down on us in frustration. '
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    I am sharing a poetic reflection on the life of President Mandela to go along with my video:

    They say never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes
    But what happens when the man has neither shoes nor socks to walk in?
    Would you willfully walk that mile?
    Would you accept all adversity with a frown and a smile?
    Would you still run the race against racism with grace and style?
    Would you work wearily to weave a tapestry of diversity and shared fate
    Against those who continue to practice apart-hate?
    Would your heart shine bright when deprived of sunlight?
    Would your spirit sing a song of liberation when it's denied instrumentation?
    As they tried at Robben Island to rob you of your soul
    You literally rolled Rholihlahla with each punch as you crunched in your hole
    We stand here because of you
    We breathe freely because of you
    And you walked the long walk to freedom with no shoes and socks
    So that we will not have to
    You walked for those without homes and even the land-dwellers
    You, the son of Mother Earth
    Father to a nation
    Grandfather to our future
    Brother to African liberation
    From Cape Town to Kinshasa you led like no other
    To remind us to put our arms down and hands forward to embrace one another
    Because of you the world is encouraged to up rise like Soweto
    So-we-too rise above the mentality of the ghetto
    To claim the universe as our humble home
    Overseas maligned media would disgrace the Madiba
    But we saw through their lies as we looked at tattered posters into your eyes
    Your hope in humanity helps us fly Tran-skeis
    And when peace did not work on the path for a free way
    You chauffeured us on the highway of Umkhonto we sizwe
    And when so many believed that there was still no way
    Your perseverance and piety led all of us nobly to the Nobel in Norway
    And so we will make peace our prize
    And we will walk on this path of freedom with our shoes on and heads held high
    In a world where courage and pride can be hard to find like a Black Pimpernel
    Because YOU have walked this earth Madiba, the future for all humanity bodes well

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