The 10th-year memorial service for Nelson Mandela took place on the 5th of December, a global event commemorated at the Nelson Mandela Gardens and Resort, Asaba, Delta State. The distinguished attendees included former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Consul-General of South Africa in Lagos,
Ambassador Bobby Moroe, and the Bishop of the Diocese of Asaba Anglican Communion, Rt Rev’d Kingsley C. Obuh, with the event hosted by Dr. Newton Jibunoh.
Bishop’s Rendition and Speech:
The bishop, in his eloquent speech, acknowledged the dignitaries, emphasizing the significance of the 10th Memorial distinct from the annual Mandela Day. A moment of silence was observed in honor of Mandela and others who fought for justice. The bishop highlighted Mandela’s early life, activism, and pivotal role in the fight against apartheid.
Mandela’s commitment to non-violence illustrated through campaigns against oppressive pass laws, led to his imprisonment. The period from 1963 to 1990 marked by incarceration symbolized Mandela’s unwavering dedication to freedom. His release in 1990 and subsequent leadership in negotiations with President de Klerk ushered in a new era for South Africa.
Mandela’s presidency (1994-1999) focused on healing wounds, fostering equality, and implementing initiatives for Black empowerment. His leadership culminated in the historic democratic elections and the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Post-presidency, Mandela continued advocating for peace, justice, and reconciliation until his passing on December 5, 2013.
Our Hope of a Better World:
The world is in chaos and wars all around us, Nations are at war because people refuse to speak the truth and admit the truth. One of the greatest forms of hypocrisy we find today in the political arena all over the world is people calling for peace without calling for justice. Any peace achieved without justice, fairness and equality for all is a false peace that will be short-lived. The hope of a better world is possible if more persons will promote the legacies of Nelson Mandela. At local and international levels, leaders must stand for justice and condemn evil, no matter who is involved. The justice system of partiality and double standards will only plunge society into deeper disorder. The rate of call for peace should also be the rate of call for justice, fairness, and equity; and those who make such calls
should lead by example.
The best memorial we can give to this great mind that passed through time is to let his legacies live on through us, and that will require sacrifices. Nelson Mandela’s enduring legacy serves as a reminder of the profound impact that one individual can have in shaping the course of history. His life’s work continues to inspire a new generation of leaders and activists, reaffirming the enduring values of compassion, empathy, and the pursuit of justice.
Today, Mandela’s legacy resonates in the ongoing struggle for racial equality, social justice, and the advancement of human rights around the world. His message of reconciliation and unity in the face of diversity and adversity serves as a guiding light for those working to address the persistent challenges of discrimination, inequality, and conflict. As we commemorate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, it is imperative to reflect on his enduring impact and draw inspiration from his unwavering dedication to the pursuit of a more just and equitable world. In honoring Mandela’s legacy, we are called upon to uphold the values of compassion, understanding, and the relentless pursuit of a better future for all, ensuring that his vision of a unified and inclusive society remains an enduring aspiration for generations to come. One great lesson the life of Nelson Mandela has taught humanity of all generations is that whatever is not worth dying for is also not worth living for.
Dr. Jibunoh’s Speech:
Dr. Jibunoh, the event’s host, acknowledged the presence of dignitaries, including former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and Ambassador Bobby Moroe. He spoke passionately about Nelson Mandela’s life, Mandela’s teachings, and lessons to be learned from the great Icon. He also spoke about Nelson Mandela Gardens and Resort, a global monument honoring Mandela’s legacy.
“Today marks the 10th-year passing of a great man and as we gather to honor the enduring legacy of a titan among men, Nelson Mandela. A decade has passed since this icon, this beacon of hope, departed our earthly realm, yet his spirit continues to resonate through the tapestry of history” ” he said. Nelson Mandela was not merely a man; he was a force of nature, a living testament to the indomitable power of resilience, compassion, and unwavering
commitment to justice. In the crucible of adversity, Mandela emerged as a symbol of reconciliation, guiding a fractured nation toward unity and healing.
NELSON MANDELA TEACHES
In the face of oppression, Mandela’s spirit remained unbroken. His journey from prisoner to president embodies the triumph of the human spirit over the darkest forces. He taught us that forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, but a
manifestation of profound strength. Mandela’s enduring grace, even in the shadow of his oppressors, stands as a testament to the triumph of love over hatred.
THE UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations, recognizing the profound impact of Mandela’s life, instituted World Mandela Day, dedicating a day each year to celebrate the ideals he championed that if a small percentage of the world can be like Mandela the world will be a better place. His vision was not confined to the borders of South Africa; transcended continents, inspiring leaders and ordinary individuals alike to strive for a world where justice and equality reign supreme.
ABOUT THE FORMER GOVERNOR
I was fortunate to be one of the few in the world given this endorsement to build this monument. I was equally fortunate to have a visionary leader in my state, Delta State, who believed so much in me and shared Mandela’s values of nature, art, and love for his people. He supported the birth of this garden; he is none other than the former governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Today, as we stand in the shadow of the Nelson Mandela Garden and Resort, a global tribute to his enduring legacy, let us reflect on the responsibility that comes with the knowledge of his sacrifices. The garden is not merely a collection of stones and greenery; it is a living testament to the principles for which Mandela stood – freedom, equality, and the relentless pursuit of a better world.
As we commemorate Mandela’s life, let us not reduce it to a distant memory but rather, let us internalize the lessons he imparted. Let us, like Mandela, be architects of change, weaving a future where every individual, regardless of their background can walk hand in hand towards prosperity.
Let us celebrate the memory of Nelson Mandela, a man whose legacy echoes through time. May we carry forward the torch of justice and compassion that he so courageously lit? As Mandela once said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I will conclude my speech with a toast by stating how fortunate I am to have the former governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, as a friend and a leader. In one of Nelson Mandela’s quotes, he said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done. Your Excellency, you made this possible”, Newton finalized.
The Nelson Mandela Gardens and Resort:
The Garden, conceptualized and brought to life by Dr. Jibunoh, gained recognition during the 2013 Mandela International Day. The commissioning ceremony was attended by notable figures, including Ndaba Mandela and Dorothy Amuah. The Garden, with its 95 Trees, became a leading tourist attraction in Asaba, Delta, and fostered global awareness of Mandela’s ideals. Dr. Newton Jibunoh’s vision extended beyond borders; he proposed the project to Mandela’s family, leading to the creation of the 5th monument in Nigeria.
Governor Uduaghan’s support, including donating land within the Asaba International Airport, played a pivotal role in the project’s success. The Garden stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of Mandela, celebrating not just a historical figure but a legacy etched in the landscape. The Garden, now a leading tourist attraction in Asaba, Delta, stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts that brought Mandela’s legacy to life. Dr. Jibunoh’s meeting with Mandela’s family in New York led to the creation of the 5th monument, a project warmly embraced by Governor Uduaghan, who recognized its tourist potential and global significance.
As we reflect on Mandela’s enduring impact, his teachings on forgiveness, resilience, and justice resonate. The Nelson Mandela Garden, documented in Dr. Newton Jibunoh’s book; “HUNGER FOR POWER” becomes not just a physical tribute but a living embodiment of Mandela’s ideals. In honoring Mandela’s legacy, the article emphasizes the responsibility we all share to carry forward the torch of justice and compassion. Mandela’s vision, as articulated in the speech by Dr. Jibunoh, becomes a call to action – a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others, just as Mandela did. As we commemorate the 10th Memorial, may the spirit of Nelson Mandela continue to inspire us all.