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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted December 9, 2013 by
    johannesburg, South Africa
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Nelson Mandela: Your memories

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

    Madiba, an outstanding personality


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     RolMe had the opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela in 2004 at the former president's home in Johannesburg, South Africa. The iReporter (shown seated beside Mandela in the photo) was vice president of sales and marketing for an electronics company that was supporting the Apartheid Museum. He said Mandela inspired him to think differently about the people around him. 'Madiba was an exceptional person who was able to bring peace to a country so deeply divided. During my meeting with him and during other meetings I had with older white people in South Africa, I noticed that everyone, even the Africaans, respect his work ... His passing is a tremendous loss for South-Africa and the rest of the world as there are still too many people around who don’t understand his message.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    In 2004 I had the honor and outstanding privilege to meet Madiba personnally for an hour. As I was not really Aware of the upcoming meeting I just got out of a flight from Germany to Johannesburg when my phone rang. My business partners told me to hurry up as I had an important meeting in 2 hours. When I replied and asked to reschedule as I was really tired the just said: You do not reschedule a meeting with the person you are going to meet. So I was ready as advised. He welcomed us personnally at the door although he already had some problems walking. We were joind by John Kani, the actor, and George Bizos, his long time friend and attorney. What followed were the most interesting 60 minutes of my life. with the most interesting man this world has had for many years. He was gentle, funny, extremely well informed and a personality that one could almost physically feel. Meeting him has made my life much easier to live and has made me change myself to be a lot more patient and to be there for people around me. Regardless of the circumstances.....
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