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    Posted December 6, 2013 by
    Bohol, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Nelson Mandela: Your memories

    leoudtohan and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Remembering Nelson Mandela
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    46664 means forgiveness & selflessness


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Leo Udtohan relayed this story of how a question that stumped most of the contestants in a quiz game has stuck with him ever since. That question surrounded Nelson Mandela's prison number, 46664. So when he found out that Mandela had died, he worked with his niece and nephew to make a heart bearing that number and Mandela's name. And, the words 'selflessness' and 'forgiveness.' He says: 'The death of Mandela will send the whole world into mourning and self-reflection after he led the country from racial prejudice to inclusive democracy. He was a great man. Another thing I admired about Mandela is he had not poisoned his heart; he learned to forgive despite the horror he experienced while in prison.'
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    I once attended a general info competition and was thrilled when the quizmaster asked: What was Nelson Mandela’s prison number? Only one person got the correct answer. 46664

    The quizmaster further explained that Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island in 1964, and was the 466th prisoner to arrive that year. The prison administration's scheme of numbering prisoners was to follow the sequence number of the prisoner (466 in his case), with the last two digits of the year (64).

    That was in 1993. But that number “46664” stuck with me because reading his life story, Mandela was one of history's last great statesmen, and a moral paragon comparable with Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

    I’d learned more of Mandela when I was majoring history in college. When he was elected president, he said: "Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another ... the sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement. Let freedom reign. God bless Africa!"

    He was last seen in public at the final of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg. Early in 2011, he was taken to hospital and was visited by Michelle Obama.

    Then, the next news he passed away at 95.

    I didn’t meet Mandela personally but his impact to the world was amazing.

    Nelson Mandela set an example for all to follow and was an inspiration of the world. The horrors he endured while in one of the worst prisons on earth would harden the heart of an average man. Many people ruin their health and their lives by taking the poison of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness, but Mandela was able to forgive the people who hurt him and lead his country.

    For me 46664 also means a merciful and forgiving heart. Let us remember Mandela’s personal example with regard to the value of forgiveness and selflessness.

    Hamba Kahle Madiba!
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