Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thank You Very Much Mr. Mandela!

Today is Nelson Mandela International Day. The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. 

In 1993, Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize for his actions in favor of the end of apartheid and the establishment of a non-racial democracy in South Africa. 

After twenty-seven years in prison, he was released in 1990, and he was elected in 1994 the first black president of South Africa, and successfully applied the policy of national reconciliation. After his first term, he retired from political life, but he has continued fighting against AIDS and in favour of several humanitary causes.

But, I want to highlight another aspect of Mandela's fight. The apartheid government was hostile to LGBT people too, and homosexuality was punished with imprisonment. When Mandela was released, his commitment to human rights were not only for racially reasons but sexual orientation also.

In 1993 the African National Congress, the main party of South Africa and leaded by Mandela, endorsed equality for rights of LGBT people and opposed to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. These provisions were kept in the Constitution approved in 1996 and, as a result, South Africa became the first nation in the world to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution. 

In addition, in 2006, same-sex marriage was legalized, and South Africa became the first and unique country in Africa.

I want to remember some words from Mandela's inauguration speech in 1994:

"We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world".

Now, I pray for his health.

 Mandela in prison

 The Nobel Peace Prize

Mandela's inauguration

Mandela with Simon Nkoli and others LGBT community leaders

1 comment:

  1. By Jörg Stolz:

    happy birthday nelson mandela
    and thank you so much