- Posted December 6, 2013 by
Charlotte, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Nelson Mandela: Your memories
My Obsession with Mandela since age seven
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Back in Rwanda our teachers used to ask us to pray for Nelson Mandela and people of S.A who endured apartheid. I learned about the evil of injustice such as apartheid at my tender age.
I fell in love with Mandela and his cause ever since. I lived in South Africa between 2001 to 2005, but I did not get chance to meet him in personal except when he came to celebrate 10 years of freedom in 2004. I was in the crowds, but I did not reach Mandela.
When I came in the USA in April 2005, I decided to engrave Nelson Mandela's portrait on my right shoulder. I lived with his portrait, but I revealed it last night after I learned of his passing.
I wish I could be at his memorial service even though I am not worthy to be there. Nelson Mandela has become an ideal to me, and many people who experienced injustice in their countries.
When I became an American citizen, my family adopted Justice as the last name for our family and I got this inspiration from Mandela who gave up his freedom as he was fighting for freedom and justice of his people.
I have written a poem that is made of Nelson Mandela's name and I will be more than happy to share that. Thank you so much.
Here is the poem I wrote for Mandela back in August 2006
Never give up
Never give up your freedom dream
Evaluate your cause then go for it
Let your passion be your first priority
So that you will never loose your hope
Open your mouth and speak out for unity
Never be scared of the extremists.
Make justice and equality your right hand
Always think about the voiceless ones
Never retaliate on your persecutors
Don’t use the evil way to abolish evil policies
Evil will be defeated by your kindness
Let the freedom ring everywhere in your country
Again never give up until the freedom is achieved.
By Innocent Ndagijimana Justice
Reverend Innocent Justice, M.Div. (Duke University).