Madiba, Global Icon
Canadian media (CBC and CTV) have been leading an effective campaign in raising awareness of Mandela’s positive and transformative global impact. Coverage has been extensive and in-depth. We have been moved to tears many times in the last 3 days as individuals have expressed the impact that Nelson Mandela has had on their lives. Many of the testimonials were from Whites from Africa now living in Canada, some were from mixed race individuals and some were from ethnic East Indians. Aboriginal Canadian leaders have also given testimonies of the impact of Mandiba on their life.
Iconic Status: Spontaneous and Immediate
- Media coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela has brought into focus his upbeat message of the common destinies for all humanity. It is not his death which has held us enthralled, death after all, is banal and commonplace: everyone does it. The spiritual uplift we feel is homage to and gratitude for his timely arrival in a world teetering on the brink of a potential blood bath in Africa with a cascading impact on countries with mixed populations of Blacks and Whites.
- Mandela is a paragon of desirable human qualities: humility, compassion, selflessness, tenacity, courage, fairness, far-sightedness, vision, non-partisanship, qualities that are in short supply in our current leadership.
- Mandela is a unifying force, fostering global unity along purer, less divisive lines, lines which are non-partisan, non-religious, non-sectarian, non-ethnic.
- Elevation to the secular equivalent to sainthood will come not through a patriarchal, theocratic gerontocracy, dictatorship of old, religious men from the Church or the Mosque, using traditional criteria, miracles and the like.
- Spontaneous and immediate iconic elevation will come because in our societies the niche of moral leadership is lacking.
- Elevation will take place by the people worldwide and will be for the people. Precedence: elevation by some populations of worthy individuals occurred because that population felt that their moral needs were being under served by the existing institutions eg. Rastafari elevated Haile Selassie and invested in him their hopes, developing their unique Rastafarianism.
- Fast track because we need to keep the momentum from the current spiritual uplift to make Nelson Mandela, the man, into Madiba the continuing positive and idealized myth from which we can pull measures of inspiration as needed on an ongoing basis.
If Madiba had not existed at that time and in that place, we would have had to invent him, the need was that great, but he did exist and we are so much the better.
Dec. 15, 2013:
With Mandela at rest in the village of his birth, we must recognize and thank Canada’s CBC for their coverage of events surrounding his death and interment. Their coverage brought Canadians closer to communities outside of North America and we felt connected on the level of solidarity with those communities.